A student at Wycombe Abbey has become one of the first people in Europe to try lab-grown meat.

Ariana Fischer, a Lower Sixth student at Wycombe Abbey in High Wycombe, took part in an internship at ORF Genetics in Iceland at the beginning of February – with no idea that she would be one of the first to take part in a potentially ground-breaking food trial.

Although her internship was focused on detecting and quantifying a cell growth factor linked with wound healing, Ariana also found herself sampling cultivated Japanese quail during her trip that had been created from growth factors produced by ORF Genetics.

In good company, alongside the Prime Minister of Iceland, the Wycombe student became one of the first people in Europe to taste-test lab-grown meat during her trip. Her verdict? It tastes “indistinguishable” from the real thing.

ORF’s cell-cultured meat is made using plant-based growth factors in modified barley plants and purports to provide a sustainable and ethical alternative to traditional meat.

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It was approved for consumption in Singapore in 2020 and in the US in 2023 and is predicted to grow by $140 billion globally in the next decade.

Ariana was also inspired by her internship at ORF to found the initiative Wycombe Abbey’s Vision for Engineering Students (WAVES), partnering with local engineering companies to provide work experience for female students in the town.

She said: “Internships benefit students in developing professional skills, defining interests and establishing goals.

“By democratising these opportunities for our community, we are taking steps to tackle to gender and socioeconomic gap in engineering.”