KFC has teamed up with 3D Bioprinting Solutions in Russia to create the world’s first laboratory-produced chicken nuggets. The goal is make them taste and appear as close as possible to the traditional product sold by the quick service restaurant chain subsidiary of Yum! Brands, while being more environmentally friendly to produce than ordinary meat. A final product for testing in Moscow should be available by the autumn of 2020.
The idea of crafting what KFC calls the “meat of the future” arose in response to the growing popularity of healthy lifestyles and nutrition among consumers, as well as the increase in demand for alternatives to traditional meat.
3D Bioprinting Solutions is developing additive bioprinting technology using chicken cells and plant material, allowing it to reproduce the taste and texture of chicken meat almost without involving animals in the process. Louisville, Kentucky, USA-headquartered KFC is providing its Russian partner with all of the necessary ingredients, such as breading and spices, to achieve the signature “finger-lickin good” taste. At the moment, there are no other known methods on the market that could allow the creation of such complex products from animal cells.
The bioprinting method has several advantages. Biomeat has exactly the same microelements as the original product, while excluding various additives that are used in traditional farming and animal husbandry, creating a cleaner final product. Cell-based meat products are also regarded as more ethical among many consumers, as the production process does not cause harm to animals.
Also, according to a study by the American Environmental Science & Technology Journal, the technology of growing meat from cells has minimal negative impact on the environment, allowing energy consumption to be cut by more than half, greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced 25 fold and 100 times less land to be used than traditional farm-based meat production.
“We are closely monitoring all of the latest trends and innovations and doing our best to keep up with the times by introducing advanced technologies to our restaurant networks,” said Raisa Polyakova, General Manager of KFC Russia & CIS. “Crafted meat products are the next step in the development of our ‘restaurant of the future’ concept. Our experiment in testing 3D bioprinting technology to create chicken products can also help address several looming global problems. We are glad to contribute to its development and are working to make it available to thousands of people in Russia and, if possible, around the world.”
Yusef Khesuani, co-founder and managing partner of 3D Bioprinting Solutions, commented: “3D bioprinting technologies, initially widely recognized in medicine, are nowadays gaining popularity in producing foods such as meat. In the future, the rapid development of such technologies will allow us to make 3D-printed meat products more accessible and we are hoping that the technology created as a result of our cooperation with KFC will help accelerate the launch of cell-based meat products on the market.”