KFC's 3D print edible chicken nuggets plan



Chicken chain KFC is trying to take the last letter out of its name by creating lab-grown meat for use in its products.

Although technically the company will still be making chicken there will be one big difference - it won't be coming from an egg.

The company wants to use chicken stem cells to create a "meat of the future".

It plans to use a technique known as 3D bioprinting, already used in medicine, to reproduce meat in a way the company claims cuts energy usage in half, uses 100 times less land than traditional farming, and emits 25 times fewer greenhouse gases.

KFC has partnered with Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions, a lab started by Russian medical giant Invitro.

It manufactures bioprinters and food printers among other projects.

The company's co-founder and managing director Yusef Khesuani said 3D bioprinting was becoming increasingly popular for food production as global dietary trends change.

"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 co-operation with KFC will help accelerate the launch of cell-based meat products on the market," Mr Khesuani said.

Scientists are getting better at reproducing meat in labs from animal stem cells.
Scientists are getting better at reproducing meat in labs from animal stem cells.

"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," KFC Russia general manager Raisa Polyakova said.

"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," she said. "(KFC is) 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."

KFC's "restaurant of the future" concept is a response to "the growing popularity of a healthy lifestyle and nutrition, the annual increase in demand for alternatives to traditional meat and the need to develop more environmentally friendly methods of food production," according to a company statement.

Printed meat is billed as cleaner and greener, and might be better for you as well.
Printed meat is billed as cleaner and greener, and might be better for you as well.

The company said bioprinted meat has the same microelements as "the original product" (chickens, the animal) but argue it's actually better.

KFC claims bioprinting doesn't cause any harm to animals and also eschews "various additives that are used in traditional farming and animal husbandry".

Some might argue that the "various additives" used in traditional farming and animal husbandry KFC refers to here have actually only been used for around 50 to 100 years, thanks to the rise of factory farming to satisfy demand for cheap meat driven by, among others, KFC.

KFC's Australian website said there is "no way" the company uses "artificial hormones or steroids".

It said the company "demands high levels of animal welfare standards" from its local chicken suppliers, which are required to be members of the Australian Chicken Meat Federation.

The company stopped using chickens fed human antibiotics in the US in 2017 over fears of antibiotic resistance.

It has also experimented with plant-based products in the past.



Originally published as Crazy KFC plan for lab chicken