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It doesn’t take a chicken to eat a chicken breast

Artificially created chicken breast: it looks and taste like the real one, but it did not needed a chicken. Image credit: Future Meat Technologies

I remember when I was young there was a song, sort of limerick, that stated a chain of events, each one required for the next one to happen (to make the wood you need a tree…) and managing to turn around in circle (here is the Italian song: “It takes a flower”  ).

It made perfect sense, like it makes perfect sense that if you want to eat a chicken breast you need to sacrifice a chicken. Yet, this is no longer so.

It is now several years that a number of start ups are searching for feasible ways to produce cultured meat. The search is not looking for the possibility of doing so but to find ways that are both economically sustainable and practical to support industrial high volume production. I already posted a number of blogs on this search and mentioned the post pandemic trend towards cellular agriculture meat.

Now Future Meat Technologies, an Israeli company, is going to the market with their 3.90$ chicken breast, fully lab-manufactured. They are planning for steak and rib-eye soon. The manufacturing process starts from real animal (chicken, beef) cells that are grown in the lab and assembled into a structure that mimics the real texture so that we can be tricked into believing it is the real thing.

The manufacturing process requires 99% less land and 96% less water resulting in 80% reduction of CO2, yet delivering 100% taste and nutritional value. This looks like the future and most likely it is the future.

As mentioned it is not the only company working in this area, just the first one to the market. Other companies are looking into the manufacturing of “meat” starting from plant cells. By the end of this decade it is foreseen that a growing portion of our meat consumption will tap onto cellular agriculture meat. A real revolution, and, in the medium term a real disruption to current business!


About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the New Initiative Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He is a member of the IEEE in 2050 Ad Hoc Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.

One comment

  1. Roberto Saracco

    Future Meat Technologies has announced the production of 500kg of artificial meat per day, thus delivering 5,000 burgher patties per day.