Singapore has approved the sale of cultured meat this week, setting a first for world governments.
On Tuesday, Eat Just, a San Francisco-based startup, announced that the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) approved the sale of its chicken nuggets, which are made from lab-grown chicken cells.
No chickens were killed to acquire the cell line used for production. Instead, cells are sourced through methods that include biopsy, according to Tech Crunch.
The cultured cells are processed in a bioreactor, where they are fed with various nutrients. After achieving sufficient density, they are harvested and prepared to be used as an ingredient.
The product will launch in Singapore in the near future. However, Eat Just already has expansion plans to the U.S. and Western Europe, according to CNN Business.
“This is a historic moment in the food system,” said Josh Tetrick, Eat Just’s co-founder and chief executive, according to The New York Times. “We’ve been eating meat for thousands of years, and every time we’ve eaten meat we’ve had to kill an animal — until now.”
The company, which already sells a 100% vegan egg (called Just Egg), also plans to sell other cultured meat — including lab-grown beef.
The SFA reportedly approved the nuggets after Eat Just submitted a safety assessment to its “novel food” working group, which includes experts on food science, nutrition and toxicology, among other fields. Cultured meat falls under the agency’s novel food classification.
Eat Just will sell the nuggets under its new Good Meat brand, which will also see other chicken formats. The product will debut in one restaurant in Singapore.
“We’re going to start out with a single restaurant and then scale out to five, 10, 15 and then eventually into retail,” Tetrick said, according to CNBC. “The infrastructure required to do it is primarily the bioreactors, so we’ll eventually be moving to 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 liters.”
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