Lab-grown coffee is now a reality in Espoo's innovation ecosystem. Using cellular agriculture, VTT has brewed a cup of lab coffee created in a bioreactor.
Creating the coffee cell cultures from which the coffee is made is one thing, but how about the taste and smell of the actual brew? According to a trained sensory panel and analytical testing, the lab coffee smells and tastes like 'real' coffee.
Dr Heiko Rischer, the VTT Research Team Leader, is optimistic that Finland may shortly become the world's northernmost sustainable coffee producer. Richer thinks that VTT could increase production and get regulatory approval in four years so that the lab coffee could become a consumer product.
Of course, a batch of lab coffee only makes a small splash in an ocean-sized challenge of sustainable food production. However, it's another mind-bending innovation by VTT in the research institution's strategic efforts to solve the world's biggest challenges.
Hero image: Tiard Schulz, Unsplash