Lab-Grown Chicken

Lab-Grown Chicken

News Analysis   /   Lab-Grown Chicken

Change Language English

Published on: June 26, 2023

Source: The Hindu


“Cell-cultivated chicken” – that’s the official name of chicken meat that is grown in a laboratory for human consumption. 

Two U.S. companies, Good Meat and Upside Foods, have received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to make and sell their cell-cultivated chicken.

The first country to approve the sale of alternative meat was Singapore in 2020.

About Cultivated meat

Cultivated meat, also known as cell-cultured meat or lab-grown meat, is a form of meat produced by isolating and culturing animal cells rather than raising and slaughtering animals.

Process of Cultivated Meat Production:

Isolation: Companies isolate the cells responsible for the meat we consume from a living animal through a biopsy.

Cultivation: The isolated cells are placed in a bioreactor, a specialized container that provides the necessary resources for cell growth, such as nutrients, fats, carbohydrates, amino acids, and controlled temperature.

Cellular Agriculture: This method of meat production is also known as cellular agriculture, as it utilizes cell cultures to generate meat.

Transformation into Meat Products:

Cell Proliferation: Over time, the cells multiply and form a mass resembling minced meat.

Collection and Processing: The cultivated tissue is collected and undergoes processing, including the addition of additives to enhance texture and appearance.

Utilization: Processed cultivated meat is then used as an ingredient in various recipes, offering a sustainable alternative to conventionally sourced meat.

Types of Cell-Cultivated Meat:

Chicken Focus: Companies like Good Meat and Upside Foods have primarily concentrated on developing cell-cultivated chicken meat due to its high global consumption.

Expansion Plans: These companies aim to broaden their offerings to include other types of meat in the future.

Diverse Research: Researchers are actively working on creating cell-cultivated versions of sea bass, tuna, shrimp, and pork.

Market Potential and Outlook:

Growing Market: The global alternative meat market, including cultivated meat, is projected to reach $20-25 billion in sales by 2030, according to McKinsey.

Environmental Benefits: Cultivated meat has the potential to reduce the environmental impact associated with traditional animal agriculture, including greenhouse gas emissions, land usage, and water consumption.

Ethical Considerations: Cultivated meat presents a more humane approach to meat production by eliminating the need for raising and slaughtering animals.

Need for Cell-Cultivated Meat Creation

Emissions Reduction:

Livestock production contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, with beef being a major contributor. Lab-grown meat has the potential to reduce emissions associated with conventional meat production.

According to the FAO, global livestock is responsible for 14.5% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, with beef accounting for 41% and chicken meat and eggs accounting for 8%.

Land Use Efficiency:

Conventional meat production requires vast amounts of land for animal rearing and feed production. Lab-cultivated meat has the potential to utilize land more efficiently.

Studies suggest that lab-grown meat could use significantly less land compared to traditional meat production, with estimated reductions of 63% for chicken and 72% for pork.

Animal Slaughter Prevention:

One of the ethical concerns regarding traditional meat production is the slaughter of animals. Cell-cultivated meat offers a way to produce meat without the need for animal slaughter, aligning with ethical considerations and animal welfare concerns.

Food Security:

Lab-grown meat has the potential to address food security challenges by providing a more efficient and sustainable method of meat production.

With the global population projected to increase, lab-cultivated meat can help meet the growing demand for protein while minimizing the strain on natural resources.

Customization and Health Benefits:

Cultivated meat can be customized to offer specific nutritional profiles and healthier attributes compared to conventionally produced meat.

By reducing fat content or enhancing nutritional components, lab-grown meat can contribute to public health initiatives and cater to specific dietary preferences.

Challenges with Cell-Cultivated Meat:

Taste, Texture, and Appearance:

A significant challenge in the development of cell-cultivated meat is to match the taste, texture, and appearance of animal meat.

Consumers expect alternative meat to be comparable to traditional meat in sensory attributes.


The cost of producing cell-cultivated meat is currently high compared to conventional meat.

The production process involves complex technologies and expensive inputs, making it economically challenging to make lab-grown meat commercially viable and affordable for mass consumption.

Quality and Resources:

Researchers require high-quality cells to initiate the cultivation process. Ensuring a consistent and reliable source of high-quality cells can be a challenge.

The growth medium used for cell culture and the resources needed to maintain the quality of the final product, such as nutrients and environmental conditions, need to be carefully optimized.

Environmental Impact:

While cell-cultivated meat has the potential to reduce environmental impact compared to traditional meat production, there are concerns about the environmental footprint of the cultivation process itself.

A study highlighted that if the production of cultured meat requires specialized and purified liquids similar to those used in the pharmaceutical industry, the environmental impact could be worse than conventional beef production.

Other Post's