Singapore on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve the sale of lab-grown meat, in its case chicken nuggets. U.S. company East Just will market the product in the country, but has not launched the sale yet.
Poultry is actually one of the products many lab meat companies have concentrated their efforts on. According to a recent paper, 22 percent of worldwide cultured meat companies were making chicken or duck. The only meat more companies are working on was beef at 25 percent. The lab-grown poultry products expected to hit markets were chicken nuggets and foie gras, while companies are developing lab-grown beef in the form of steaks, burger patties and meatballs, according to the paper.
Based on a survey conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland, lab grown beef is also the product that generates most consumer interest. 71 percent of respondents said they would taste beef made in a lab. 63 respondents said the same about poultry and 69 percent about pork.
The movement for lab grown meat is partially fueled by an interest in finding a sustainable source of food and protein that could be easily made and marketed while not compromising on taste. North American companies were at the forefront of the development of lab meats with 40 percent of all analyzed companies being headquartered there. Asia come in rank 2 with a third of companies located on the continent.
In a paper published in August in the Journal of Animal Science that looked at the interest in lab-grown meats across different religions, Buddhists showed the biggest interest in lab grown meats with 60-80 percent saying they'd try the different varieties. Religious groups which avoid certain meats said they would avoid their lab-grown counterparts all the same, according to the research.