Straight from petri dish? Scientists create lab-grown coffee to avoid 'environmental pitfalls'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Oct 27, 2021, 06:21 PM(IST)

This photo taken on December 10, 2019 shows coffee beans with marijuana in Banda Aceh, Aceh province Photograph:( AFP )

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The idea of carrying out this discovery came as experts believe that the coffee grown in petri dishes can help avoid several environmental pitfalls that are related to mass production of the drink

Due to the fear that global warming is making coffee plantations less productive and causing deforestation, researchers are working on developing sustainable coffee in a lab.

A team of researchers from a Finnish technical research institute VTT are trying to develop coffee in a petri dish, instead of growing it in plantations.

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The idea of carrying out this discovery came as experts believe that the coffee grown in petri dishes can help avoid several environmental pitfalls that are related to mass production of the drink.

"Coffee is of course a problematic product," Heiko Rischer told news agency AFP. "There is the transport issue, the fossil fuel use... so it totally makes sense to look for alternatives."

As per the experts, coffee plantations are becoming less productive due to global warming. So, the planters are now turning their attention towards chopping off more forests to make more readily available land. This is bringing a catastrophic negative effect on the Earth.

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So, in order to remove the negative effects, the scientists are now looking for alternatives to growing coffee in traditional way. "There is the transport issue, the fossil fuel use... so it totally makes sense to look for alternatives," Rischer said.

Scientists have developed coffee from petri dish and the experts are aiming to duplicate, if not make it better, the taste of the plantation-grown coffee. For now, sensory analysts have been set up with the task of trying the newly-developed coffee.

However, these experts are only allowed to taste and spit the coffee, and not swallow it. "Compared to regular coffee, the cellular coffee is less bitter," research scientist Heikki Aisala told AFP. "But that being said, we really have to admit that we are not professional coffee roasters and a lot of the flavour generation actually happens in the roasting process."

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