Start-up ‘Redefine Meat’ secures funding for 3D-printed vegan steaks

It might sound like a scenario you’d find in Wall-E rather than real life, but Israel-based start-up ‘Redefine Meat’ is beginning a test run of 3D-printed vegan meat products.

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the term ‘3D-printer’? Homemade toys, geeky creations by cosplay enthusiasts? How about a juicy steak?

Start-up company ‘Redefine Meat’ has just secured $29 million USD to fund its first test run of commercial, 3D-printed vegan meat alternatives, which includes burgers, steaks, and sausages.

The money will be used to launch a mass production pilot factory in Israel. If successful, the company plans to expand to Europe, followed by Asia and North America by the end of this 2022.

Soon you too could be enjoying a vegan meat product that was crafted using mechanical printing and plant-based ‘ink’. Who even needs a chef at this point, really?


How was the 3D-printed steak developed?

Creating vegan meat alternatives via 3D-printer is as odd as you’d expect and looks more like Play Doh than it does actual food, at least during production.

The ‘steak’ is made from soy and pea proteins, coconut fat, sunflower oil, and includes natural colours and flavours. All of the ingredients are mixed into an ‘ink’ which is then processed through the printer. Layers upon layers of these ingredients are piled on top of one another, creating an overall ‘steak’ that recreates the feel and texture of meat.

Redefine Meat says its worked with industry leaders and food technologists to account for over 70 different sensory factors in order to produce as realistic of a ‘steak’ as possible.  Comparisons of the finished, cooked ‘steak’ with the traditional meat are fairly persuasive and will no doubt impress the average diner looking for an evening meal out.

There are even plans to roll out these alternative meats to supermarkets within the next two years, making them as prominent and easily available as current vegan options such as Beyond Burger.


What’s next for Redefine Meat?

CEO Giuseppe Scionti has outlined ambitious plans for the project and hopes to be the ‘world’s biggest alternative meat company by 2030’.

Getting everyday consumers on board will be the biggest hurdle for Redefine Meat and the idea of eating food generated by a printer is tough to accept for many. Just checking YouTube videos on 3D-printed vegan products you’ll find a ton of dislikes and negative comments. It’s clear the idea still has a way to go before its embraced by everyone.

Substitutes for traditional meat are vital if we want to maintain our conventional eating habits. Current agricultural production is not sustainable for the long term and is one of the biggest factors in climate change. Vegan options that can be made cheaply and on a large scale will be necessary if we’ve any hope of converting the average consumer off of a meat-based diet.

We’ll have to see how this test trial works out. Perhaps we’ll all be cooking up our dinners via home 3D-printers before long. Someone get HP on the phone.

@thredmag

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