Singapore has a knack for being in first place. Not only will the city-state be the first in the Southeast Asian region to utilise the Pfizer vaccine, as announced recently, they were also the first to gain regulatory approval to use lab-created meat. Today, Eat Just announced that it has now made the world’s first-ever commercial sale of cell-based meat for human consumption to a restaurant in Singapore. The restaurant, 1880, will be launching Eat Just’s cultivated chicken on Saturday (19 December).
“This historic step, the first-ever commercial sale of cultured meat, moves us closer to a world where the majority of meat we eat will not require tearing down a single forest, displacing a single animal’s habitat or using a single drop of antibiotics,” said Josh Tetrick, Co-Founder & CEO at Eat Just.
As previously mentioned, the startup gained approval from Singapore authorities for the commercial sale of cultivated meat earlier in December, marking a world’s first and an enormous milestone for the wider cell-based industry. Approval was given to sell cultured chicken as an ingredient in chicken bites, made up of 70 percent cultured chicken, with the remainder made up of plant protein.
“We are honoured to host the global launch of Eat Just’s first cultured meat product. This is a revolutionary step towards solving climate change and creating the opportunity to feed the world without overwhelming the planet,” said Marc Nicholson, founder of 1880.
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) granted the food tech company approval for culture chicken, specifically those that are produced using an animal-derived bovine serum. While this increases the authenticity of the cultured product, it poses some questions about whether the product, while being slaughter-free, is suitable for certain specific dietary preferences, such as veganism or vegetarianism.
However, a spokesperson for Just Eat mentions that while there is indeed a small amount of bovine serum within the cultured chicken meat, said serum is effectively removed through the harvesting and washing process.