RUSSIA – KFC, a fast food chain company, has partnered with 3D Bioprinting Solutions in Russia to develop the world’s first laboratory-produced chicken nuggets.

Inspired by the growing demand for animal alternatives, KFC wants to craft the “meat of the future.” The project, according to a press release, aims to forge something “as close as possible in both taste and appearance” to the restaurant’s original product, while remaining environmentally friendly.

“Our experiment in testing 3D bioprinting technology to create chicken products can also help address several looming global problems,” Raisa Polyakova, general manager of KFC Russia, said in a statement.

“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.”

A final product should be ready for testing this fall in Moscow, where people are working on additive bioprinting technology that uses chicken cells and plant material to reproduce the taste and texture of meat, “almost” without involving animals.

Biomeat has the same microelements of the original product without any additives (typically used in the production, processing, treatment, packaging, transportation, or storage), making it cleaner and more ethical, considering the process does not harm animals.

“3D bioprinting technologies, initially widely recognized in medicine, are nowadays gaining popularity in producing foods such as meat,” said Yusef 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.”

KFC cites a study by the American Environmental Science & Technology Journal suggesting growing meat from cells is also believed to have minimal negative impact on the environment, cutting energy consumption by more than half, reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25-fold, and using 100 times less land than traditional farm-based production.

“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,” Polyakova added. “Crafted meat products are the next step in the development of our ‘restaurant of the future’ concept.”

KFC is also introducing new global chicken welfare guidelines as part of its long-standing commitment to a sustainable supply chain. These will operate as guidance, and in the instance that a country or territory has existing animal welfare regulations and expected industry practices, they will continue to be upheld.

The brand plans to work with its chicken farmers, suppliers and partners in communities around the world to improve the overall health and well-being of chickens raised for food.

These new guidelines focus on chicken health and farming practices across all areas of the supply chain, including raising, handling, transporting, and processing.

The guidelines are the culmination of an extensive evaluation process conducted over the past year, in conjunction with KFC suppliers, partners and third-party industry experts worldwide.

“Chicken. It’s in our name, and it’s what we know best. That is one reason I’m proud of these new guidelines, which reiterate KFC’s long-standing commitment to the humane treatment of the chickens we raise for food,” said Tony Lowings, chief executive officer at KFC Global.

“Being transparent about how we are tracking and evaluating that commitment is an important step in our journey to continuously improve.”

The new guidelines build upon the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, which have long been globally adopted by professional groups that focus on animal welfare, including the American Humane Society, World Organisation for Animal Health, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Specifically, KFC’s global chicken welfare guidelines address and assess progress in the areas outlined below.

Each country and territory, in compliance with local regulations and supply chain status, will measure and track different categories accordingly: Mobility while chickens are raised, Overall chicken health and minimization of medical interventions, Chicken mortality and Mental and physical stress.

Additionally, KFC’s suppliers are required to meet all local laws, regulations and supplier codes globally, as outlined in the Yum! Supplier Code of Conduct policy.

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