Singapore has become the first country in the world to approve the sale of cultured meat. On Wednesday, the city-state’s Food Agency gave Eat Just, a US startup best known for its plant-based egg substitute, the go-ahead to sell its lab-grown chicken as an ingredient in chicken bites (pictured above). The company told NBC News initial availability of its meat will be limited, with only a single restaurant selling the nuggets to start. However, Eat Just plans to eventually sell the meat directly to consumers as it increases its manufacturing capacity.
Cultured meat is different from the plant-based alternatives we’ve seen from companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. In this case, it’s real meat that’s created by taking stem cells from an animal’s muscle or fat tissue and putting it in a medium that supports their growth. Josh Tetrick, the company’s CEO, compared the process to brewing beer. The resulting chicken is both safe to eat and includes a high amount of protein and a diversified amino acid composition.