Turkey chicken breasts.


JESHOOTScom / Pixabay

The local authorities have given their fire to the sale of artificial chicken meat in restaurants in Singapore, "a world first" according to the American start-up behind the project.

The food security agency of the city - Southeast Asian state has given its agreement to the company Eat Just, which created pieces of chicken from animal cells cultured in laboratories.

This is "a breakthrough for the global food industry," she said in a statement, as many companies seek ways to produce meat with less impact on the environment.

A polluting farm

"I am confident that the regulator's approval for our cultured meat will be the first in a series in Singapore and other countries around the world," said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just.

"Eat Just submitted a request for verification," the Singaporean food safety agency confirmed on Wednesday.

Its product "has been declared safe for consumption in the quantities intended and has been authorized for sale in Singapore as an ingredient in Eat Just nuggets."

Eat Just states that it has produced more than 20 batches of artificial chicken meat in 1,200 liter bioreactors before submitting its production to quality and safety tests.

Global meat consumption is expected to increase by 70% by 2050, and artificial meat may soon meet some of the demand, according to the start-up as scientists see the rise as one of the drivers of change climate.

Livestock for meat consumption is a source of methane, a gas that promotes the greenhouse effect.

In some countries like Brazil this sector contributes to the destruction of forests, natural barriers to global warming.

The demand for alternatives to meat is growing, but the products currently available are plant-based.

Dozens of other start-ups are also working on artificial meat projects around the world, but production has so far remained experimental.

Expensive manufacturing

If laboratory meat has long been considered far too expensive to be able to compete with breeding, Eat Just claims to have made "considerable progress" to reduce costs.

“Right from the start we'll have a price similar to high-end chicken from a fancy restaurant,” a spokesperson said.

He did not reveal the price of the nuggets but did say that the product would be available soon at a first restaurant in Singapore and that other products such as chicken breasts would follow.

Eat Just hopes to achieve a lower price than conventional chicken over the next few years.

"By collaborating with the agricultural sector as a whole and visionary policies, companies like ours can help meet the growing demand for animal protein from a population that will reach 9.7 billion by 2050," according to Josh Tetrick.

Over 90% of food imports to Singapore

Singapore encourages the growth of start-ups developing new agricultural and food technologies, ranging from the creation of laboratory-grown “seafood” to ravioli in which tropical fruits replace pork.

The food safety agency has set up a special procedure to test experimental food products before they are put on sale.

William Chen, a Singapore-based scientist and member of an expert commission advising the regulatory authority, points out that food safety is one of the main reasons behind efforts to develop alternatives to meat in the city- State.

Singapore "has virtually no agriculture, we import over 90% of our food," says William Chen, who heads a program dedicated to food, science and technology at Nanyang Technological University.

“Finding ways to improve the supply of food locally would be a very ecological and sustainable option,” he believes.


Street food: The taste of meat, without meat?

We tested a 100% vegan burger in Paris


Meat production: Researchers want to set a maximum threshold to limit global warming

  • Pollution

  • Food

  • Laboratory

  • Meat

  • Singapore

  • Planet

  • World