KFC has announced it will begin using 3D bioprinting technology to create lab-grown chicken nuggets this fall in Russia.
Alternatives to traditional meat have been gaining popularity as consumers look for environmentally friendly alternatives. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are two companies that specialize in plant-based meat alternatives. In both cases, these products are designed to mimic the look, texture and taste of the real thing.
KFC is going in a slightly different direction, with plans “to create the world’s first laboratory-produced chicken nuggets” using plant material, chicken cells and bioprinting technology. KFC will give its partner, 3D Bioprinting Solutions, all the necessary ingredients to perfectly duplicate the restaurant’s signature chicken nuggets. The end result is a product that is reportedly cleaner, has minimal impact on the environment and does not harm animals.
“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. 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,” said Raisa Polyakova, General Manager of KFC Russia & CIS.
“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,” said Yusef Khesuani, co-founder and Managing Partner of 3D Bioprinting Solutions.
While KFC’s announcement is fascinating, from a technological point of view, it remains to be seen how many customers will buy into ‘printed chicken.’