Cultured chicken produced by Eat Just has been approved for sale in Singapore as an ingredient in chicken bites, in what the firm says is the world’s first regulatory approval for cultured meat.
The milestone paves the way for a forthcoming small-scale commercial launch of Eat Just’s new Good Meat brand.
During the process of obtaining regulatory approval, the company says that it has demonstrated a consistent manufacturing process by running over 20 production runs.
According to Eat Just, safety and quality validations have demonstrated that harvested cultured chicken meets the standards of poultry meat, with ‘significantly’ cleaner microbiological content than conventional chicken. The analysis also showed that the cultured product offers nutritional benefits such as a high protein and rich mineral content.
The regulatory approval is the culmination of a ‘rigorous’ consultation and review process involving the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).
Eat Just complied with SFA’s food safety requirements for the assessment of novel foods, and the cultured chicken was confirmed to be safe for human consumption by an outside panel of international scientific authorities in Singapore and the US.
Eat Just has partnered with local manufacturers in Singapore to produce cultured chicken cells and formulate the finished product ahead of its launch in a restaurant.
“Singapore has long been a leader in innovation of all kinds, from information technology to biologics to now leading the world in building a healthier, safer food system,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just.
“I’m sure that our regulatory approval for cultured meat will be the first of many in Singapore and in countries around the globe.
“Working in partnership with the broader agriculture sector and forward-thinking policymakers, companies like ours can help meet the increased demand for animal protein as our population climbs to 9.7 billion by 2050.”
Bruce Friedrich, executive director of The Good Food Institute, commented: “A new space race for the future of food is underway. As nations race to divorce meat production from industrial animal agriculture, countries that delay their investment in this bright food future risk getting left behind.
“The rest of the world should be following Singapore’s lead by funding alternative protein research and working with companies to ensure a rigorous and thorough path to regulatory approval and oversight.”
Earlier this year, Eat Just announced that it had partnered with an investment consortium to establish a plant protein production facility in Singapore that will serve the Asian market.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020