The company formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken, KFC, is one of America’s long-standing, most iconic fast food brands, and the popular franchise is still widely frequented throughout the United States, with over 4,000 locations dispersed across 50 states as of June 2020.
KFC has long been known for its signature fried chicken recipe, which features “11 herbs and spices,” but the company has been been utilizing many not-so-natural ingredients in recent years, much to the chagrin of purists who long for the “good old days.”
Now, KFC is poised to test a new type of artificially created chicken product that has raised more than a few eyebrows, to say the least, a radical departure from its traditional recipe that is expected to be tested sometime this fall.
If the testing works as expected, consumers may have a difficult decision on their hands: should they support this “futuristic” new food experiment, or demand that KFC change their ways and get back to doing things the old fashioned way?
KFC to Test Chicken Nuggets Made from a 3D BioPrinter in Russia this Fall
With a constitution designed to mimic the taste and appearance of KFC’s original chicken nuggets, the company’s latest food experiment, chicken nuggets made from a 3D bioprinter, is expected to debut this fall in Russia.
If successful, the product will create the world’s first ever laboratory-produced chicken nuggets, KFC stated in a July 16 press release.
“The idea of crafting the ‘meat of the future’ arose among partners in response to the growing popularity of a healthy lifestyle and nutrition, the annual increase in demand for alternatives to traditional meat and the need to develop more environmentally friendly methods of food production,” the release said.
“They will be as close as possible in both taste and appearance to the original KFC product, while being more environmentally friendly to produce than ordinary meat. Receiving a final product for testing is already planned for the fall of 2020 in Moscow.”
The nuggets will be “bioprinted” using “animal flesh cells,” a report from Fox6 Milwaukee stated. Chicken and plant cells alike are expected to be used in the mixture.
Bioprinting typically uses 3D-printing techniques to combine biological material and is used in medicine to create tissue and even organs, Business Insider wrote.
The new item is part of the company’s “restaurant of the future” concept, KFC added in the release.
Natural Food Advocates Question Long Term Safety of 3D Printed KFC Nuggets
“Our experiment in testing 3D bioprinting technology to create chicken products can also help address several looming global problems. 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,” Raisa Polyakova, the CEO of KFC Russia and Commonwealth Independent States.
Lab grown meat is also being created by the Bill Gates-based Memphis Meats startup company, as well as the JUST Cultured Meats Company of California, which hopes to sell chicken nuggets synthesized from feathers sometime in the near future.
KFC says the new futuristic 3D printed chicken nuggets will help to conserve resources, a claim similar to other lab created meat companies, but food safety advocates point out that such highly unnatural foods have and most likely never well be tested for long-term human consumption and safety, and there’s no way to know what will happen once they become a consistent, ongoing part of the human diet.