Singapore becomes first country to approve sale of lab-grown meat

03 Décembre, 2020, 10:14 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Singapore approves lab-grown 'chicken' meat

"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".

Cultured chicken is the company's first product, and it says the meat's composition is similar to that of real chicken and therefore offers the same nutritional value - it's also antibiotic-free.

The cultured meat is created in a bioreactor - an apparatus in which a biological reaction or change takes place - Eat Just said. While Singapore's decision to allow Eat Just's could encourage other countries to follow suit, regulatory approval in the USA and other countries where land isn't in scarce supply is likely years away.

Singapore's pioneering step is the beginning of a "space race for the future of food", according Bruce Fredrich, executive director of food advocacy group Good Food Institute (GFI), which has been meeting with scientists and others from the government of Singapore for more than three years to push the approval process forward.

It called this move a "breakthrough for the global food industry", and hopes other countries will follow Singapore's example.

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The Singapore Food Agency said it had reviewed data relating to process, manufacturing control and safety testing before granting approval. They will apply it to other products, and other companies will want to apply too. Instead, the company used a revolutionary method of using animal muscle cells. Those tests showed the product met the same safety standards as traditional poultry meat and had "extremely low and significantly cleaner microbiological content than conventional chicken", Eat Just said.

Eat Just already produces a range of non-animal products, including Just Egg, made with mung beans, and a vegan mayonnaise.

"Right from the start, we will be at price parity for premium chicken at a high-end restaurant", he told AFP.

Founded in 2011, Eat Just counts Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing and Singapore state investor Temasek among its backers.

The meat will initially be used in nuggets, but the company hasn't said when they will become available. According to CNBC, Dutch start-up Mosa Meat said in 2013 that its hamburger patty cost $280,000 to make, and USA company Memphis Meats said its chicken cost $9,000 a pound in 2017.



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