Eat Just, Inc., a sustainable foods company, has announced that its cultured chicken has been approved for sale in Singapore as an ingredient in chicken bites. The company has developed other cultured chicken formats that will be an extension to this product line.
This is the world’s first regulatory approval of real, high-quality meat created directly from animal cells for safe human consumption. It paves the way for a forthcoming small-scale commercial launch in Singapore of Eat Just’s new GOOD Meat brand.
Cultured meat’s role in creating a safer, more secure global food supply has been well-documented, and the last decade has given rise to a steady increase in the application of animal cell culture technology toward the development of food products. At the same time, meat production has risen dramatically, and by 2050, consumption is projected to increase over 70%. Major public health crises have been linked to patterns of conventional meat consumption, hence, safer, more efficient and less environmentally harmful ways of producing meat are urgently required to satisfy growing consumer demand.
Over the course of many months, Eat Just’s team of scientists, product developers and regulatory experts have prepared extensive documentation on the characterisation of its cultured chicken and the process to produce it. The company included details on the purity, identity and stability of chicken cells during the manufacturing process, as well as a detailed description of the manufacturing process which demonstrated that harvested cultured chicken met quality controls and a rigorous food safety monitoring system.
As per a company press release, Eat Just has demonstrated a consistent manufacturing process of their cultured chicken by running over 20 production runs in 1,200-liter bioreactors. No antibiotics are used in this proprietary process. Safety and quality validations demonstrated that harvested cultured chicken met the standards of poultry meat, with extremely low and significantly cleaner microbiological content than conventional chicken. The analysis also demonstrated that cultured chicken contains a high protein content, diversified amino acid composition, high relative content in healthy monounsaturated fats and is a rich source of minerals.
Today’s regulatory achievement involved an iterative and extensive safety review by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), Singapore’s regulatory authority entrusted with ensuring a safe food supply. During this process, Eat Just complied with SFA’s food safety requirements for the assessment of novel foods. In addition, Eat Just’s cultured chicken was confirmed to be safe and nutritious for human consumption by a distinguished outside panel of international scientific authorities in Singapore and the United States, with expertise in medicine, toxicology, allergenicity, cell biology and food safety.
“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. 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,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just.
Concurrent to the consultation and review period, Eat Just formed strategic partnerships with well-established local manufacturers in Singapore to produce cultured chicken cells and formulate the finished product ahead of its historic sale to a restaurant and, ultimately, initial availability to consumers.