KFC has announced that it intends to make chicken nuggets using 3D-printed artificial meat technology.
KFC has signed an agreement with the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions to create artificial chicken nuggets in the laboratory. The bioprinting technique under development will print meat using a mixture of chicken cells and plant material.
This experiment is an attempt to create a healthy replacement for poultry meat and is also part of the KFC “Restaurant of the Future” concept. According to the company, "the final product will have the taste and texture of chicken meat with virtually no animal content."
KFC cites research published in Environmental Science and Technology, which indicates that producing meat from animal cells uses half the energy of conventional farming methods.
KFC isn't the only restaurant chain considering introducing artificial meat to its menu. Burger King started offering synthetic meat burgers last year. Macdonald's is also testing Beyond Meat burgers in Canada.
Their main difference from the KFC product is that it still uses animal cells, while the “meat” at Burger King and Macdonald’s is completely plant-based. As such, the new KFC nuggets will not be of interest to vegetarians, and no doubt the vegetarian market will avoid them.