An Israeli alternative-meat start-up Redefine Meat is aiming to upend the meat market with its 3D-printed steaks.
The current faux-meat market is booming, but most of the alt-meat offerings take the form of ground or thinly sliced options. The fake steak has so far been elusive for food tech innovators.
Meanwhile, the press photo of the 3D-printed steak probably won’t do much to whet the appetites of customers around the world, looking more like a meat cake than the rich marbling of a real steak.
"There is an amazing industry of alternative meat that is focused on minced meat. And actually the meat industry is driven by the whole-muscle cuts," CEO Eshchar Ben-Shitrit told Reuters. "Steaks, roast, slow cooking, grilling — everything that an animal can do we want to do the same or even better."
Redefine Meat is aiming to provide meat suppliers with a special 3D printer, embedding them in the food supply system. They can then be provided with the raw, plant-based materials to 3D-print their steaks on location. The steaks contain soy and pea proteins, coconut fat, and sunflower oil, among other ingredients. Though the full list is secret, the company says all ingredients are plant-based and vegan.
Of course, it’s early days for this type of technology and one can only assume that the appearance, taste and texture of the 3D-printed steak will improve with time. But are we really looking at our local butcher shop being replaced by a meat-printing service?