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A startup is 3D printing plant-based steaks to recreate the taste and texture of the real thing — see how they do it

A startup is 3D printing plant-based steaks to recreate the taste and texture of the real thing — see how they do it
  • Israeli startup Redefine Meat is experimenting with 3D-printed steak.
  • The 3D printed steaks will be available at high-end European restaurants by the end of the year.
  • The printing process is designed to mimic the texture and taste of real meat.

Israeli startup Redefine Meat is working to create the perfect meatless steak using 3D printing.

The alternative meat industry is booming, projected to be valued at $8.1 billion by 2026. Sausage, ground beef, and more recently chicken have each had their moment as the alternative meat in the spotlight, but steak remains a mostly untapped area. Cuts like steak have the highest profits in the meat industry, but recreating the texture of muscle and fat has proven difficult. Redefine Meat thinks it can do just that.

Competitors like Novameat in Spain are also pushing ahead, and coronavirus-induced meat shortages pushed alternative meat companies even further into the spotlight. Faux steaks might not be available in the grocery store for a while, but they could indicate where food tech is going.

See how Redefine Meat prints its steaks here.

Redefine Meat is using 3D printing to recreate the texture of real steak. "The muscle, the blood, and the fat...These are the components that we need to mimic in order to reach the perfect beautiful steak," Redefine Meat food engineer Alexey Tomsov told Business Insider.

Redefine Meat is using 3D printing to recreate the texture of real steak. "The muscle, the blood, and the fat...These are the components that we need to mimic in order to reach the perfect beautiful steak," Redefine Meat food engineer Alexey Tomsov told Business Insider.
Redefine Meat. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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CEO Eshchar Ben-Shitrit told Reuters something similar. "You need a 3D printer to mimic the structure of the muscle of the animal," he said.

CEO Eshchar Ben-Shitrit told Reuters something similar. "You need a 3D printer to mimic the structure of the muscle of the animal," he said.
Redefine Meat. Reuters

Source: Reuters

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"Fat is flavor, fat is texture. You need to have this play between the muscle fibers and the jelly kind of consistency coming from the fat," Ben-Shitrit told Bloomberg Businessweek.

"Fat is flavor, fat is texture. You need to have this play between the muscle fibers and the jelly kind of consistency coming from the fat," Ben-Shitrit told Bloomberg Businessweek.
Redefine Meat. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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While 3D printing is only one technology of many being tested in the alternative meat industry, "having new technologies ... doesn't necessarily solve the flavor and taste problem," scientist Stacy Pyett told Reuters.

While 3D printing is only one technology of many being tested in the alternative meat industry, "having new technologies ... doesn't necessarily solve the flavor and taste problem," scientist Stacy Pyett told Reuters.
Redefine Meat. REUTERS

Source: Reuters

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Right now, the machines can produce 13 pounds of meat an hour, but the company plans to release a newer generation that can print 44 pounds per hour next year.

Right now, the machines can produce 13 pounds of meat an hour, but the company plans to release a newer generation that can print 44 pounds per hour next year.
Redefine Meat. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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"The idea is to replace a cow. So each of our machines produce in a day exactly like a cow, up to 250 [kilograms] in a single day,"Ben-Shitrit told Business Insider.

"The idea is to replace a cow. So each of our machines produce in a day exactly like a cow, up to 250 [kilograms] in a single day,"Ben-Shitrit told Business Insider.
Redefine Meat. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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So far, Redefine Meat has not disclosed how much the steaks will cost, though they say they will be comparable to traditional steaks.

So far, Redefine Meat has not disclosed how much the steaks will cost, though they say they will be comparable to traditional steaks.
Redefine Meat. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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The full recipe is a secret, but it includes soy and pea proteins, coconut fat, and sunflower oil.

The full recipe is a secret, but it includes soy and pea proteins, coconut fat, and sunflower oil.
Redefine Meat. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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The company is focusing resources on whole steaks, rather than ground beef or sausages, which have gone more mainstream recently.

The company is focusing resources on whole steaks, rather than ground beef or sausages, which have gone more mainstream recently.
Redefine Meat. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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Redefine Meat hopes to show off some 3D printed steaks at high-end restaurants in Israel, Germany, and Switzerland by the end of the year.

Redefine Meat hopes to show off some 3D printed steaks at high-end restaurants in Israel, Germany, and Switzerland by the end of the year.
Redefine Meat. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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