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Meat the future: KFC plans to serve 3D-printed chicken nuggets

Outside a KFC in Moscow
Outside a KFC in Moscow
Photo: Artyom Geodakyan (Getty Images)

Competition is tough in the chicken world these days, what with everybody racing to perfect the chicken sandwich (as if anyone could make us forget Popeyes) and trying to go Impossible and Beyond. Now KFC—which has already tried its own experiments with sandwiches and Beyond chicken—has decided to take the contest to a whole ’nother level: this fall, in Moscow, it will start testing 3D-printed chicken nuggets.

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KFC will be working with 3D Bioprinting Solutions: 3D Bioprinting Solutions will provide the chicken, while KFC will provide the Colonel’s signature blend of 11 herbs and spices—because while anyone can make a chicken, that blend is truly inimitable. The lab will, according to a press release, use “chicken cells and plant material, allowing it to reproduce the taste and texture of chicken meat almost without involving animals in the process.” (The “almost” is the best part of all of this.)

Biomeat, the press release continues, is cleaner than regular meat because it doesn’t contain the additives that are given to traditionally farm-raised chickens. It’s also kinder, because it doesn’t use real chickens who usually have short, miserable lives.

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The 3D-printed nuggets will be limited to Russian KFCs for now, but if all goes well, KFC plans to offer to them to the rest of the world eventually. Well, it’s something to look forward to.

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

I was under the impression that “bioprinting” still had a way to go in development. Why do I get the feeling that in reality this will just turn out to be some chicken and plant meat-paste pushed through a cake icing syringe into little deep fried dollops?