An American firm has created the first ‘lab-grown’ portions of chicken and duck meat. And according to reports from those present at the product’s launch in late March, the taste and texture is close to real chicken.
4-6 week growing period
San Francisco-based Memphis Meats took stem cells capable of self-renewal from chicken and duck without harming the animal. These cells were then grown for 4-6 weeks before being harvested, cooked and consumed.
Last year, the firm successfully created a meatball using the method, and says it has a number of other products in development. It is also working to scale-up production, with the aim of making the method commercially viable.
Photo: Memphis Meats
Requires only a 10th of the land & water
The firm describes its produces as ‘clean meat’, and is marketing it as a more sustainable way to produce protein.
It claims growing meat in the lab is better for the environment, removes the need for raising livestock and could remove food-borne illnesses.
“We expect our process to require less than a 10th of the land and water, and less than half the energy that it takes to produce conventional meat,” the company says.
Launch by 2021
Memphis Meats hopes to have products on the market by 2021.
Uma Valeti, co-founder and chief executive of Memphis Meats, said: “It is thrilling to introduce the first chicken and duck that didn’t require raising animals. This is a historic moment for the clean meat movement.
“Chicken and duck are at the centre of the table in so many cultures around the world, but the way conventional poultry is raised creates huge problems for the environment, animal welfare, and human health.
“It is also inefficient. We aim to produce meat in a better way, so that it is delicious, affordable and sustainable. We really believe this is a significant technological leap for humanity, and an incredible business opportunity—to transform a giant global industry while contributing to solving some of the most urgent sustainability issues of our time.”