Start-up Company Develops 3D Printers That Produce Plant-Based Steaks

Daniel Fowler
July 3, 2020

An Israeli startup, Redefine Meat, is planning to launch 3D printers that will produce beef-like plant-based "Alt Steaks" for consumers.

Ben-Shitrit concludes: "Today's announcement marks the start of a new era in alternative meat - the Alt-Steak era - driven by production processes that will accelerate the development of a wide range of alt-meat whole muscle products and create a sustainable alternative to raising and eating animals". The company says the steak looks, cooks and tastes like beef, with an extra perk: zero cholesterol.

Alternative meat sales could reach $140 billion by 2029, about 10 percent of the world meat market, according to Barclays.

A number of companies have turned to bio-engineering and 3D printing to replicate the fibrous texture and distinct appearance of muscle cuts. Working with leading butchers, chefs, food technologists and taste experts, Redefine Meat has designed the steaks to recreate the muscle structure of beef. "We identified three main components, the muscle, the blood, and the fat. these are the components that we need to mimic on order to reach the ideal, attractive steak". "Instead of using cows we are using technology, in our case 3D printing".

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Why digital fabrication? You've probably noticed that two of the bigger names in plant-based meat, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are best known for their burgers. Atlast Food uses mushroom fibers to emulate animal tissue in its meatless bacon.

Redefine Meat reckons that the speed they can achieve with 3D printing-up to hundreds of kilograms of not-meat per hour-will eventually lower the cost below the price of real meat. Each machine costs upwards of 100,000 US dollars, food tech website The Spoon has reported, but the price tag could go down as the technology matures.

The beef substitute was fabricated using the 2018 start-up's patent-pending AM technology and will begin market testing at select high-end restaurants later this year.

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