Lab-grown meat is approved for human consumption for the first time

Lab-grown meat is approved for human consumption for the first time

Restaurantgoers in Singapore will soon have the opportunity to eat bioreactor-grown chicken nuggets .

In this way, the first meat product grown in the laboratory for human consumption has been given the green light. In the landmark approval, Singapore regulators have granted Eat Just , a San Francisco-based startup, the right to sell farmed chicken , in the form of chicken nuggets.

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Singapore’s regulatory body assembled a panel of seven experts in food toxicology, bioinformatics, nutrition, epidemiology, public health policy, food science and food technology to assess each stage of the Eat Just manufacturing process and ensure so chicken is safe for human consumption .

Singapore’s decision could fuel the first wave of regulatory approvals around the world.

"Details were included on the purity, identity and stability of the chicken cells during the manufacturing process, as well as a detailed description of the manufacturing process that demonstrated that the harvested cultured chicken complied with the quality controls of the rigorous control system of food safety, "said the company.

Cultured meat is made like this : cells are taken from an animal, often by biopsy or from an established animal cell line. These cells are then fed a nutrient broth and placed in a bioreactor, where they multiply until there are enough.

The problem is that this type of meat is still expensive to manufacture. So Just’s first chicken products use cultured chicken cells mixed with plant protein, although in what proportion has not been specified .

At the moment, a large number of startups have been founded using variations of this approach, in the belief that cultured meat will appeal to flexitarians – people who want to reduce the amount of meat they eat for ethical or environmental reasons, but not they want to renounce it altogether.

For example, Memphis Meats , which counts Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and traditional meat maker Tyson Foods among its many investors, has partnered with several other companies, including Just and the farmed seafood makers BlueNalu and Finless Foods, to form A lobby group is working with US regulators to get their products approved .