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KFC plans to use 3D bioprinting process to make lab-produced chicken nuggets

08:18 | 22/07/2020

Fried chicken franchise KFC announced recently that they have plans to start 3D printing ‘chicken’ nuggets, with a launch date in Russia already set for next year.  

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kfc plans to use 3d bioprinting process to make lab produced chicken nuggets
KFC launched a vegan burger last year, and this is their next step in modernizing. Photo: PA

KFC will test chicken nuggets made with 3D bioprinting technology in Moscow, Russia, this fall, the chain announced in a July 16 press release on its website, cited Business Insider.

The chicken chain has partnered with 3D Bioprinting Solutions to create a chicken nugget made in a lab with chicken and plant cells using bioprinting. Bioprinting, which uses 3D-printing techniques to combine biological material, is used in medicine to create tissue and even organs.

The 3D-printed chicken nuggets will closely mimic the taste and appearance of KFC's original chicken nuggets, according to the press release. KFC expects the production of 3D-printed nuggets to be more environmentally friendly than the production process of its traditional chicken nuggets. The fall release will mark the first debut of a lab-grown chicken nugget at a global fast-food chain like KFC.

"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," Raisa Polyakova, the CEO of KFC Russia and Commonwealth Independent States said in the press release.

kfc plans to use 3d bioprinting process to make lab produced chicken nuggets
KFC hopes to create a more environmentally friendly and healthy alternative to real chicken meat. Photo: Techspot

Yusef Khesuani, cofounder and managing partner at 3D Bioprinting Solutions, said he hoped the KFC partnership would help accelerate the rise of cell-based meats and make them more widely accessible.

Raisa Polyakova, General Manager of KFC Russia & CIS said: "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… 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", she added.

Although it's not currently widely used in food, lab-grown meat is a heavily researched product that many investors hope will be on the market soon. Memphis Meats, a cell-based meat startup, raised $161 million in its latest funding round, and major investors include CPT Capital, a venture fund that has also backed Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat.

Also on July 16, KFC announced it would sell Beyond Fried Chicken at over 50 California restaurants for a limited time after successful tests in Nashville, Atlanta, and Charlotte.

KFC is not the only restaurant chain to consider introducing artificial meat to its menu. Last year, Burger King began offering its Impossible Whopper nationwide. McDonald's has also been testing "Beyond Meat" burgers in Canada, reported Techspot.

kfc plans to use 3d bioprinting process to make lab produced chicken nuggets
A quick survey by Metro UK shows the result of nearly 50% of participants not to try 3D printed food introduced by KFC. Photo: Metro UK
kfc plans to use 3d bioprinting process to make lab produced chicken nuggets
The restaurant chain says it’s the meat of the future. Photo: Techspot
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Business Insider, Techpot, Metro UK