3D printed plant based steaks could soon be a reality. Giuseppe Scionti of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya is patenting a method for 3D printing of plant based steaks. He plans to create a startup, Nova Meat, in October to commercialise the idea.
The article says that “The difficulty is reordering these nanofibers of plant proteins trying to make them look like animal proteins,” Scionti explains. “You have to study first the histology of the animal tissue, how the muscle fibers are ordered, and then you have to try to replicate it with plant ingredients that are not genetically modified”. (Apologies for any Google translate grammar problems Giuseppe!) Current plant based meat products have a ground meat, not ‘steak-like’ texture. Apparently this 3D product is somewhere between a hamburger and steak texture.
The process borrows from traditional meat techniques and bioprinting and takes 30-50 minutes to produce a 100 gram steak. Sounds like a long time, but how long does it take to grow a cow! The product produced mimics the texture of conventional meat steaks. From the pictures of the finished product no one would mistake it for a conventional steak. However that’s undoubtedly what Nova Meats will address when it commercialises the product.
Another great step forward in sustainable plant based food.