SINGAPORE: The world’s first lab-grown chicken product will be sold to customers of private members’ club 1880 at the beginning of January.
This will be the first global commercial debut of the cultured chicken by US start-up Eat Just, which announced earlier this month it had received the world’s first regulatory approval for the sale of lab-grown meat by Singapore authorities.
The cultured chicken is currently only allowed by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to be sold in its breaded, bite-sized form, said Eat Just’s chef and product developer Zachary Tyndall at a media tasting event on Monday (Dec 21).
Mr Tyndall worked with 1880 to develop the dishes that will be served at the private club next month.
The restaurant is currently running a four-day trial between Dec 19 to 22 with about 40 invited guests, where the chicken is served in a multi-course tasting menu.
From next month, the chicken nuggets will be sold as a two-dish combo - chicken and waffles on one plate, and chicken on a chinese steamed bun on the other - at S$23, said 1880 founder Marc Nicholson.
Cultured or cell-based meat is meat developed in laboratories using animal cells.
Eat Just said previously it cost about US$50 to produce one chicken nugget.
After the initial launch, 1880 might look at creating other dishes out of the nuggets.
“We want to design for each cultural palate,” said Mr Nicholson.
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The San Francisco-based startup also plans to seek approval from SFA to sell it in other forms, including as pieces of breast meat, said Eat Just’s chief executive Josh Tetrick in a video interview on Monday.
It took about two years for Eat Just to get the green light on its nugget product from the local authorities, said Mr Tetrick, adding that they are filing “extensions” on the initial cultured chicken regulatory approval.
Mr Tetrick said the plan is to make the product available in other restaurants in Singapore next year, and in retail stores by mid- or late-2022.
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The chicken nuggets are manufactured at the Singapore Polytechnic’s Food Innovation and Resource Centre, a process overseen by Mr Tyndall, who said it takes about two hours to produce 48 nuggets.
The chicken has a three-month shelf life in the freezer - a period the company is working to extend, he added.