Singapore's Food Agency is the first to allow lab-grown chicken to be sold to the general public. The cells of Eat Just chicken cells are just like the cells found in chickens grown in farms but they are grown in a bioreactor.
Regular farms breed chickens by fast-growing them and selling them to restaurants in their thousands. These farms constitute a hazard to the general public due to the health risks they pose (increasing the risk of zoonotic infections). The barns can also be a fire hazard and also constitute a hazard to the chickens.
It has been a dream for scientists for so many years to grow chickens in a lab thereby bringing the thoughts of those hazards to an end. When two years ago Singapore's Food Agency gave its nod of approval to lab-grown meat it brought this dream closer and made Singapore the first to make this move.
After the approval, 1880, a Singapore restaurant added this lab meat to its dishes from China, South American, and the US. Some other places will make lab-grown meat a part of their menu like an experimental restaurant in Israel.
The world of eating will not remain the same in the light of this technological advancement. It is a mighty move into the future. It is a replica on the cellular and organ level to the real meat, chicken in this case when slaughtered from the poultry.
To make lab-grown chicken you'll need actual chicken cells that will grow in scaffolds for cell growth. This is a whole different thing from plant-based meat such as Impossible Burger, which uses plant protein to make a taste similar to meat but lacks the cellular similarities of the meat.
This bioreactor approach can be done for all types of meat and animal products but chicken is an attractive product to the general population. If there was any meat that this approach would be made popular with it would be with chicken because of the terrible conditions that chickens are kept in, reaching to the sentiments of people in general also.
One of the main challenges lab-grown meat faces is the fact that the exact texture is not like those gotten from animals. Lab-grown meat requires cells from the live animal. The animal does not need to be killed to get cells from them.
After the cells are gotten they are put into a solution called the growth medium. This medium is an enabling environment for the cells to grow. What is being used as a growth medium is serum from a cow fetus. The makers hope to stop using animal-based products as a medium and move to plant-based media. The bioreactor keeps the chicken until they grow into the chicken meat.
**Good Food Institute Executive Director Bruce Friedrich in a statement when Singapore announced its approval of Eat Just’s chicken said,
A new space race for the future of food is underway, cultivated meat will mark an enormous advance in our efforts to create a food supply that is safe, secure, and sustainable, and Singapore is leading the way on this transition.
Many speculators believe that lab-grown meat's acceptance will mean a lot to the environment and to animals. Factories will no longer use unsuitable means for animal farming and food production will be easy to maintain. The problem however is that lab-grown meat is not readily accessible.
The first is that the technical challenges of bringing lab-grown meat to the table are far from solved, despite years of effort and investment. Even though lab-grown meat has been worked on, it hasn't been sorted out totally. Like we discussed above, the texture is still not identical to normal meat so steaks will be hard to match up, therefore products like chicken bits are focused on because their texture is less of an issue.
The lab-grown chicken products themselves also require special tissue structure and get to the time when this will be a thing of the past is still far in the future. Those who have ventured into the world of lab-grown meat, or chicken products still keep it small scale, focusing on some dishes. To compete with the current market for chickens will be difficult.
When Berkeley's Ricardo Sam Martin spoke with the vox's Kelsey Piper he made comparisons between the current products available and the pricing system addressing the difficulty in scaling up and the technological problems.
While the restaurants in Singapore are facing their challenges, lab-grown meat is a win for the world. The world is still battling climate change, pollution, and the hazards of growing livestock. It is amazing to know that other alternatives exist to help with all these issues.