A Spanish company has used 3D printing technology to create a new kind of meat, replacing the animal part of the meat with plant matter, creating a texture identical to meat in the market.
The company successfully produced the first steak displayed in the Novameat pavilion, the largest telecommunications gathering in the world.
The Director of Strategy and Finance Alexandre Campos at Novameat said that the startup’s goal was to recreate muscle fibers from animal meat but 100 percent plant-based ingredients, anticipating that the plant-based industry will continue to grow rapidly in the future.
The company said that it produces imitation meat for environmental reasons in pursuit of better alternatives for the planet.
3D Printed plant-based meat hits market year
Using a secret machine that was closely guarded away from the cameras, the company was able to produce the first cuts of animal meat.
The CEO of the company, Giuseppe Scionti, says: “In the beginning, we used 3D printing technology, but later, we created our own huge machine to be able to manufacture larger pieces of meat with more accurate details that would be able to produce larger quantities, and we hope that it will reach the markets next year.”
He added that once the model is deemed successful, it could be produced on a larger scale in larger machines that don’t use 3D technology, processing up to 500kg of processed meat per hour.
The same company has previously succeeded in producing chicken manufactured using pea protein, beetroot juice, algae, and sunflower oil.
What do people really want in meat?
Campos says that what consumers want in meat isn’t just the taste, but rather the unique sensory experiences from eating meat such as steak, chicken breast or pork.
Here, he says, the production of plant-made meat can give the same effect in a healthier way.
“When comparing plant and animal products, we see that plants produce 98 percent less greenhouse gases than animals, in addition to using agricultural lands at a lower rate as well” he explained.
“Food technology has made great leaps forward in the past years, and the alternative meat industry has developed over the past five years by a large difference, which was evident in the improvement in the taste of the products offered for less money and healthy foodstuffs that are more environmentally friendly.”