Popular fast-food chain KFC aims to create the "meat of the future" by using 3D printing technology to make chicken nuggets.
KFC announced it has partnered with a Russian company called 3D Bioprinting Solutions to develop cell-based "chicken meat" in labs that will be as "close as possible" to traditional chicken nuggets. The prototypes' testing is planned in Autumn.
Founded in 2013 in Moscow, 3D Bioprinting Solutions is owned by the most prominent Russian medical holding Invitro. It creates multifunctional 3D bioprinters that are able to produce tissue-based and organ-like products for the pharmaceutical industry.
The lab-made chicken will be created using tissues grown from chicken cells and plant material. The technology will replicate the taste and texture of chicken meat.
KFC says that it is exploring 3D printing as an innovative way to produce the food of the future and cater to consumers who demand alternatives to traditional meat. KFC is motivated by "the need to develop more environmentally friendly methods of food production."
"At KFC, 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," says Raisa Polyakova, General Manager of KFC Russia & CIS. "Crafted meat products are the next step."
KFC is not the only company exploring 3d printing technology in the food industry. Due to climate emergency and the environmental impact of animal farming companies are looking for an alternative way to mass-produce food products, especially 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," commented Yusef Khesuani, co-founder of 3D Bioprinting Solutions.
According to a study from Oxford University and the University of Amsterdam, production of cultured meat could cut greenhouse gases by up to 96% compared to livestock. Lab meat production requires 45% less energy, 99% lower land use, and 96% lower water use.