3D printing is still a very new science and I didn’t think that we would be at the point where we could start 3D printing food already, but the guys at Novameat have proved me wrong by introducing their 3D printed steak made up of vegetable based materials like rice, peas and seaweed.
Giuseppe Scionti – the CEO of Novameat – said the following about the Barcelona startup:
I developed the first 3D-printed plant-based beefsteak while I was working as a postdoc researcher in tissue engineering, and assistant professor at the UPC university in Barcelona.
I was lucky … because this city is a great hub for both 3D printing companies and world-renowned restaurants.
The first focus of my investigation in this project was to obtain a plant-based meat substitute with the same texture, consistency, and integrity of the animal pieces of fibrous meat.
In fact, although some companies have already managed well to reproduce the taste of animal meat — [such as] the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger — before my technology was patented there was no existing method able to replicate simultaneously the texture, the microscopic morphology, and the macroscopic appearance of a fibrous piece of meat such as a beefsteak, a chicken breast, or a tuna steak with this level of complexity.
At the moment, our products can mimic the texture and a simplified appearance of beefsteaks and chicken breast meats, but achieving products that are able to simultaneously mimic the texture, the appearance, the taste and the nutritional properties of specific pieces of fibrous meat is not trivial.
That will be the focus of Novameat in the first place. Then it will be fundamental to scale up the production, to bring it to the supermarkets and to the rural areas of the planet, where meat substitutes are most needed.
I mean it sounds like he’s really going for it there doesn’t he? He’s predicting that Novameat will be on the market in three to five years and I assume that he’s got a load of funding behind him to finance his work for those three to five years so I wish the best of luck to him with this noblest of projects.
The real question is whether or not people are going to eat Novameat. Currently the ingredients are turned into a special paste which can be printed at around a quarter pound an hour and the finished product has added health benefits over meat such as no cholesterol, but does that mean you would eat it when it looks like it does above?
I’m not really sure if people would favour it over meat considering how contrary meat eaters can be when offered vegan options now, but the fact that it hopefully can be mass produced and help solve world hunger means that it could be one of the most important new startup companies on the planet right now. Fingers crossed they achieve their goal and people actually want to eat it. I can see it happening.
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