After rigorous testing and evaluation, the FDA has agreed with the company’s conclusion that their “cultivated” chicken is safe to eat.
This marks a major milestone in developing “cultured” or “cultivated” meat products.
Although there currently needs to be lab-grown, cultivated meats for sale on the market, this is an important step that would eventually lead to such products becoming available in the near future.
What is Cultivated Meat?
Cultivated meat, also called lab-grown meat, is an innovative food product created from animal cells in a laboratory setting.
This involves taking cells from an animal source and then growing them in a nutrient-rich environment so that they form the same type of meat that most people are used to eating—without the need for raising live animals.
It is a complex process that relies on new advancements in the field of cell culture and tissue engineering. The FDA summarizes the process into 4 basic steps:
- Samples of cells are harmlessly taken from the tissues of live animals. These samples are selected, screened, and stored in a cell bank for later use.
- Some of those stored cells are placed in a tightly controlled and monitored environment, where they are supplied with nutrients and other essential components.
- The cells multiply into billions and trillions of new cells. Protein growth factors and additional nutrients and substances are added to the controlled environment to enable cell differentiation into separate fat, muscle, and connective tissue.
- After differentiation, the material can be harvested and prepared using conventional food processing and packaging methods.
What are the Benefits of Lab-Grown Meat?
The idea of lab-grown meat has been around for years, but only recently has the technology involved become advanced enough to bring this concept to reality.
It is not entirely clear yet if cultured meat products will be a healthy alternative to normal meats—some of which are closely linked to negative health effects such as obesity, heart disease, and cancer.
These lab-grown meats are not considered to be vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based. This is unlike other meat substitutes such as Impossible Burgers or Beyond Meat. Cultivated meats are still made of animal tissues, although they are harvested in a way that does not harm any animal.
The primary benefit of lab-grown meat may be that it provides a sustainable and environmentally-friendly approach to producing food. Since there is no need to raise live animals, this method requires significantly fewer resources and produces less waste.
When Can I Try It?
Although the FDA has approved UPSIDE Foods’ cultivated chicken, it will still take some time before consumers can actually try and purchase the product.
The company will now have to seek additional approvals from the USDA and other regulatory agencies before it can be sold in stores or restaurants. A timeline has yet to be publicly released from UPSIDE Foods or any other company or agency in the field.
This announcement from the FDA is just one small step in the process of bringing cultivated meat products to market. However, it is an important milestone that shows the potential of this technology and how it could revolutionize the way food is produced in the future.
Many other companies are also working on their own cultivated meat products, and it will be exciting to see what the future holds for this emerging industry.