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WORLD’S FIRST: At the first lab-grown meat restaurant, you can now eat a ‘cultured chicken’ sandwich

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Production is based on avian stem cells that possess the innate ability to multiply indefinitely, eliminating the need to go back to the animal to produce more meat.

ADELE PETERS: At a new restaurant in Tel Aviv called The Chicken, the chicken on the menu is grown from cells in a bioreactor in an adjacent pilot plant visible through a glass window. Diners don’t pay for their meals; instead, SuperMeat, the startup making the “cultured chicken” meat, is asking for feedback on its products, as it prepares for large-scale production of food that it thinks can transform the industry.

The main item on the menu, the Chicken Burger—a crispy cultured chicken fillet served on a brioche bun with toppings—looks and tastes like conventionally-produced chicken. “The burger has a juicy chicken flavor, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside,” says Ido Savir, CEO of the startup. “Feedback from multiple tasting panels was consistent that it was indistinguishable from conventionally manufactured chicken, and simply a great-tasting chicken burger.”

The company has spent three years developing a manufacturing process that can be scaled up. Like other companies in the cellular agriculture space, it’s been working to create the optimal conditions for cells taken from animals to grow without the animals themselves. “Our production platform is based on avian stem cells that possess the innate ability to multiply indefinitely, eliminating the need to go back to the animal to produce more meat, essentially removing animals from the equation,” says Savir…

The process is far faster and more efficient than raising animals… “It is metaphorically the equivalent of having a farm of 1,000 mature chickens, and harvesting 500 mature chickens out of that farm every day endlessly.” The “meat” is produced directly, without the intervening step of slaughtering and butchering. Done right, with renewable energy, the process can also cut the environmental footprint of meat, since it uses fewer resources…

If it becomes widespread, cellular agriculture could have several advantages over traditional animal agriculture. Instead of having chickens stuffed in overcrowded buildings—a scenario that’s cruel to chickens, leads to the overuse of antibiotics, and could lead to the next deadly pandemic by spreading a virus from animals to humans—no chickens would be involved at all. SOURCE…

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