Brewing a high-tech coffee
VTT, a Finnish research institution, has produced coffee cells through the use of a bioreactor and cellular agriculture, with the resulting coffee reportedly smelling and tasting like conventional coffee.
With increasing demand and sustainability challenges concerning traditional coffee agriculture, there is a need for alternative ways of producing coffee. A method that sidesteps the substantial land usage of the coffee bean industry could allow for a more environmentally friendly way of producing coffee.
The idea of growing coffee in a bioreactor is not especially new, having been suggested back in the 1970s. The modern method uses the currently available technology — VTT cultured coffee cell lines before growing them in bioreactors. After enough biomass was produced it was subsequently roasted using a technique developed by VTT especially for this procedure.
The researchers believe that they may be four years away from having developed the technology enough to seek regulatory approval and thus move to a commercial scale of production.
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