Today, we'll talk not of classic FDM 3D-printers such as the Creatbot DX but about food 3D-printing.
Israeli company Redefine Meat has launched five new "meat" products. No cow or lamb was harmed in the process, because all these steaks and sausages are 3D-printed using plant biomass.
First of all, this is obviously an alternative food for vegans and vegetarians, but that’s not all. These products are also made with ecological and economic reasons in mind: animal husbandry produces significant greenhouse gas emissions and is essentially unreasonable when calculating calories from cereals and legumes versus those from meat of animals fed with the same volumes of grain.
Why 3D-printers? It's all about the texture, which affects the palatability. Even if you grow animal cells in a test tube, and then make a beefsteak out of them, you get something nutritious, but not at all tasty, because real meat is a combination of muscle, connective, and fatty tissues, even in the form of minced meat. Additive technologies should help reproduce the structure of meat more accurately using only vegetable imitators.
The new line of Redefine Meat consists of five varieties of conventional meat products: hamburger patties, Mediterranean-style sausages, Middle Eastern meat pies, lamb kebabs, and just ground beef. Supposedly, all this culinary variety not only looks appetizing but also tastes much better than traditional soy imitators. Next in line are steaks.
“We want to change the belief that delicious meat can only come from animals, and we have all the building blocks in place to make this a reality: high-quality meat products, strategic partnerships with stakeholders across the world, a large-scale pilot line under construction, and the first-ever industrial 3D Alt-Meat printers set to be deployed within meat distributors later this year,” says Eshkhar Ben-Shitrit, CEO and Co-Founder of Redefine Meat.
The business seems to be well-funded: in 2020, Redefine Meat received an investment of $6 million from two venture capital companies and the largest German poultry firm PHW-Gruppe, and another $29 million last year. The retail cost of such yummies is not known yet, but the company intends to keep prices at about the same level as natural meat products.