'Test-tube' chicken and duck meat could be in shops by 2021
The world's first test-tube chicken meat has been unveiled by scientists, who hope to start supplying supermarkets within four years.
Memphis Meats founders Dr Uma Valeti and Dr Nicholas Genovese allowed food experts to sample their southern fried chicken recipe in San Francisco yesterday. Although other firms have created beef, it is the first time scientists have grown poultry meat from stem cells. They also created duck meat.
It marks a huge step forward for the "clean meat" movement, which aims to end the cruelty and environmental impact of battery farming while creating a food that even vegetarians can eat.
"It is thrilling to introduce the first chicken and duck that didn't require raising animals. This is a historic moment for the clean meat movement," Dr Valeti, CEO of Memphis Meats, said.
"Chicken and duck are at the centre of the table in so many cultures, but the way conventional poultry is raised creates huge problems for the environment, animal welfare and human health.
"We aim to produce meat that is delicious, affordable and sustainable. This is a significant technological leap for humanity, and an incredible business opportunity to transform a global industry while contributing to solving some of the most urgent sustainability issues."
The scientists believe cultured meat will eventually replace raising animals and that future generations will deem eating animals unthinkable.
The researchers isolate chicken and duck stem cells that have the ability to regenerate, before culturing them in a nutrient soup of sugars and minerals. These cells develop into skeletal muscle that can be harvested in just a few weeks.
Emily Byrd, of the Good Food Institute, said the duck meat was "rich, juicy and savoury" and she was equally impressed by the chicken.