More Realistic 3D-Printed Plant-Based Steaks are Coming, Courtesy of Redefine Meat

Meat is delicious, but it’s bad for the planet (not to mention the animals that get eaten). Luckily we’re now entering an era when plant-based meats taste just about as good as the real thing. And now Israeli start-up Redefine Meat means to boost the uptake of plant-based steaks, using 3D printing.

Why digital fabrication? You’ve probably noticed that two of the bigger names in plant-based meat, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, are best known for their burgers. Both companies can come close to nailing the flavor of a beef burger, and the texture of ground beef is not difficult to reproduce. Steaks, however, are a different matter. “You need a 3D printer to mimic the structure of the muscle of the animal,” CEO Eshchar Ben-Shitrit told Reuters.

In other words, Redefine Meat will be able to 3D print the materials representing lines of marbled fat and the “grain” of a steak, replicating precise cuts of meat. And according to Reuters, “The market is definitely waiting for a breakthrough in terms of improving the texture,” said Stacy Pyett, who manages the Proteins for Life program at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands.

Redefine Meat reckons that the speed they can achieve with 3D printing–up to hundreds of kilograms of not-meat per hour–will eventually lower the cost below the price of real meat.

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