A Spanish startup is developing 3D-printable steak made from plants
- A food-tech firm from Spain is trying to pioneer 3D-printed, plant-based
- The company planned to introduce the food item into high-end restaurants by the end of 2020.
- The consumption of beef is a major contributor to climate change, leading food scientists to develop plant-based alternatives.
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How do you like your steak: well-done, rare, or 3D-printed?
What if it was plant-based and 3D-printed?
Novameat is a Spanish food-tech firm aiming to develop high-end, printable, plant-based steak.
"What I would like to have is like the Tesla Roadster of the plant-based meats," founder Giuseppe Scionti said.
Scionti has been working in the field of tissue engineering since 2005, and actually has a Ph.D. in it. He started working on developing human parts (skin tissues, cartilage, bones and the like) before realizing his skills could have a culinary appeal. In 2018, he founded Novameat as a means to combine his technology with environmentally focused food production.
Scionti is aiming at a top-down method of introducing his product to the market – working with high-end chefs to get the taste right, as opposed to making the product more widely available at a lower cost.
"One of the drawbacks of a plant based meat is that people think, 'Maybe it's just mimicking meat, and is not at the same level of meat,'" Scionti said. "But we are trying, for example, to incorporate omega-3 fats. We are trying to control the nutritional properties we are trying to create something new with, can be a super meat of the future and still can be natural."
You might think a global pandemic would slow down operations, but in fact the opposite might be true. Novameat partners with high-end chefs around the world, few of whom are still at work.
"What is interesting is that chefs are most of the time at home because the restaurant is closed," Scionti said. "So they can do research and development when they go to the office. And some of these top chefs, they have laboratories."
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