‘Meat of the future’: KFC to ‘3D bioprint’ meat using ‘animal flesh cells’

KFC has partnered with a Russian bioprinting company to bring 3D printed chicken nuggets to the table.

Coined as the “meat of the future,” the lab-created chicken meat is KFC’s response to the growing interest of healthy lifestyles, the rise in demand for meat alternatives and the increasing need to develop more environmentally friendly methods of food production.

It is also KFC’s next step in creating a “restaurant of the future.”

The chicken company’s Russian partner, 3D Bioprinting Solutions, is developing additive bioprinting technology using chicken cells and plant material to recreate the taste and texture of chicken meat, with almost no animal involved in the process.

Provided with KFC’s necessary ingredients, such as breading and spices, the laboratory-produced meat aims to achieve the signature KFC taste.

"3D bioprinting technologies, initially widely recognized in medicine, are nowadays gaining popularity in producing foods such as meat," said Yusek Khesuani, co-founder of 3D Bioprinting Solutions. "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."

In the statement, the chicken franchise listed the advantages of utilizing the bioprinting method, including the absence of various additives used traditionally in farming and animal husbandry and the ethics of a production process that claims to not cause any harm to animals.

The company also emphasized that bioprinting remains an environmentally-friendly procedure to produce than the standard way of producing chicken meat.

“The technology of growing meat from cells has minimal negative impact on the environment, allowing energy consumption to be cut by more than half, greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced 25 fold and 100 times less land to be used than traditional farm-based meat production,” the statement said, sourcing a study by the American Environmental Science & Technology Journal.

This is certainly not the first time we have heard about 3D printed meat. Earlier this month, an Israel-based startup announced its first 3D printed plant-based steak, innovated by 3D meat printing technology.

RELATED: 3D ‘Alt-Steak’ printed using plant-based ‘fat, blood and muscle’

Following the rise of alternative meat options in marketplaces and fast-food chains, 3D-printed meat aims to be the novel creation that combines technology and food formulations to present a new category of “meat.”