Previously we reported that a start-up company has successfully produced plant-based 3D printed steaks as an alternative to the real thing. To answer the question of “what else can be 3D printed nowadays?”, apparently the next food product on the list are Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) chicken nuggets.
Announced by the company themselves, KFC is collaborating with a Russian firm 3D Bioprinting Solutions to develop a technology that will print chicken meat. Unlike the aforementioned 3D printed steaks (which are also vegetarian-friendly), this approach will use lab-grown ingredients using chicken cells and plant material. According to the announcement, the brand plans to provide the firm with ingredients like breading and spices in order to achieve the signature KFC taste, as well as seeking to replicate the taste and texture of genuine chicken.
“3D bioprinting technologies, initially widely recognized in medicine, are nowadays gaining popularity in producing foods such as meat,” said 3D Bioprinting Solutions co-founder Yusef Khesuani. “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.”
KFC noted that the bioprinted nuggets would also be more environmentally friendly to produce. The company cited a study by the American Environmental Science and Technology Journal, which stated that lab-grown meat from cells produces less greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption when compared to traditional farming methods.
According to the announcement, KFC plans to have the new bioprinted chicken nuggets to be tested in Moscow during fall of 2020. We won’t know if this approach would eventually replace the franchise’s traditionally produced chicken nuggets in the near future, but it’s quite likely that most customers might not sit well with the idea. Well, only time will tell.