In context: It would seem fake meats are the latest trend in restaurants these days. Not one to be left behind, KFC announced it would be making artificial chicken nuggets for its "restaurant of the future" concept. It's the processing that will set the Colonel's meat apart, as the company plans to 3D print the chicken morsels.

Fried chicken franchise KFC has partnered with Moscow-based company 3D Bioprinting Solutions to create an artificial chicken nugget in the laboratory. The new bioprinting technology under development will print meat using a mixture of "chicken cells and plant material."

The move is an effort to create a more environmentally friendly and healthy alternative to real chicken meat. It is part of the company's "restaurant of the future concept." KCF says that the end product will have the taste and texture of chicken meat with very little involvement for the animals. The nuggets will supposedly be "cleaner" than its contemporary counterpart.

"Biomeat has exactly the same microelements as the original product, while excluding various additives that are used in traditional farming and animal husbandry, creating a cleaner final product," said the company in its press release.

The company cites a study from the American Environmental Science and Technology Journal, stating that producing meat from animal cells would use about half the energy of traditional farming.

KFC is not the only restaurant chain to consider introducing artificial meat to its menu. Last year, Burger King began offering its Impossible Whopper nationwide. McDonald's has also been testing "Beyond Meat" burgers in Canada.

The primary difference with KFC's product is that it still uses animal cells, whereas The King's and McDonald's "meats" are entirely vegetable-based. So the new nuggets might not draw many vegetarians, and will undoubtedly be avoided by the vegan market.

Image credit: Pavlovska Yevheniia