KFC, Kentucky Fried Chicken for the few of you that may not recognise the brand, has announced a partnership with 3D Bioprinting Solutions, a Russian company, to create their chicken nuggets using an industrial 3D bioprinter able to produce mass quantity of chicken meat… without using a single chicken!
The “raw material” is created using a few chicken cells and plants cells that are cultivated “in vitro” (not on Petri dishes but in huge vats). This raw material is fed to the 3D bioprinter that will print chicken nuggets meat. They will be further processed as today’s chucks of chicken meat, breaded and spiced ready to be fried.
The artificial chicken nuggets taste the same and have the same texture, at least this is the asserted goal.
The advantage of using artificial chicken meat is clear is you happen to be a chicken 😉 It is also quite clear once you start considering the impact of some 24 billion chickens in the world (curious on how many chickens are there in your Country? Click here), Notice that a chicken life, in an industrial meat production process, is very short, around 2 to 3 months, so the number of chickens in a year gets close to 100 billion.
According to KFC the artificial production of chicken meat would cut energy requirements in half, decrease greenhouse gas emissions 25 folds and uses 100 times less farm land.
The first artificial chicken nuggets should make their way into KFCs locations in Moscow this fall. Based on results from these market tests the production may scale up and hit other countries. Personally, I am all in favour of crafting meat and spare animals lives,
A lot is going on in terms of industrial research for the future of food and we can expect some radical changes in the next decade.