Technology has made its way into our lives in every sphere, be it as remote controlled cars or smart homes. In the food industry, its presence can in no way be ignored as one can find a large number of advanced gadgets being used. KFC, the popular chicken restaurant brand, is synonymous with use of technology in various ways. Taking a step further, it has decided to print 3D chicken products with the help of lab grown meat.
A brand belonging to the company Yum! Brand Inc., KFC or Kentucky Fried Chicken recently announced its plans to develop 3D printed chicken products. Having named it as ‘Restaurant of the Future’, it said that it will make use of the 3D bioprinting technology to put its plan into action. The brand has partnered with 3D Bioprinting Solutions research laboratory in Russia, founded by INVITRO, a private medical company, to find ways to heat the ingredients and then print them as per different shapes.
This project is said to be aligned with the growing concern among people to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Under this project, the company will develop chicken nuggets produced for the first time in a laboratory. They confirm that their taste and look will be like the real ones and will also be far more environment friendly when compared with the production of real meat.
So how does this happen? Well, 3D Bioprinting Solutions has developed a technology called Additive Bioprinting using materials from plants and chicken cells. This will help in producing the desired texture and flavor of the meat without using any animals at all. KFC will be supplying the ingredients like breading and its top-secret spices to the laboratory to create the final product and take it to market. However, currently research is in progress and the final product will be available for testing purposes only towards the end of the year.
Various research agencies have opined that creating meat products using cells is a completely ethical process and does not result in causing harm to animals. In fact, Biomeat is said to contain the same level of nutrition and microelements that are found in the original product, and the final product so created will be cleaner final as it will be devoid of any artificial additives that are used in the animal husbandry and farming industry.
As per the study conducted by the American Environmental Science & Technology Journal, the technique of using cells to create meat has a series of advantages which include reduction in the consumption of energy by almost 50%, 25 times reduced emission of green-house gases and close to no usage of land unlike that required for traditional meat farming.
Commenting on this development, the General Manager of 3D Bioprinting Solutions, Raisa Polyakova, has mentioned that this newly developed product will be first made available in Russia and then later on, at a subsequent stage, to the rest of the world. The company feels that the close partnership and collaboration with the trusted and hugely popular brand KFC will help in the launch of the product in the market smoothly and fast as well.
3D printing technology is being extensively used in the pharmaceutical industry for the manufacture of medicine. Its foray into the food industry is definitely a major breakthrough and will revolutionize the production of food. It might play a major role in reducing the food shortages in the world.
So, the next time you visit a KFC outlet near our area and order chicken nuggets, who knows you will be supplied with a product that might have been created using 3D printing technology.