KFC has been exploring the benefits of technology lately. The company, known for its chicken-based menu, has ventured into more serious and actually more practical technologies, including one that could save its business in the event of a severe chicken shortage. Its backup plan looks beyond the meat and basically involves 3D printing.
Yes, KFC wants to print 3D food, although the formal term it uses is 3D bioprinting. Of course, edible printing with 3D printing is nothing new, as we saw in the early days of 3D printing with chocolates. KFC’s partnership with the Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions, however, goes beyond the simple task of heating the ingredients to print them in different shapes.
This particular method involves what sounds almost like an arcane art of combining chicken cells to reproduce the taste and texture of chicken. While 3D Bioprinting will provide the technology and equipment, KFC’s contribution will be that of ingredients, especially the secret spice sauce that has made KFC an icon in the fast-food industry.
The economic, environmental, and ethical benefits of such a process cannot be ignored. No chicken will be injured in the process, and biomeat promises the same nutrients as the original, but without the additives that animal meat gets from traditional agriculture and animal husbandry.
Growing meat in cells means less impact on the environment and halves energy consumption.
Of course, its success depends on the ability of the two companies to faithfully recreate the taste and texture of the original product. Customers in Moscow will be the first to test this theory when the final product is ready by the fall of this year.