A fresh sirloin steak straight from the 3D printer is the latest bid to lure even the most die hard carnivores to the booming faux meat market, and could become this year's hot menu item.
An Israel-based company, Redefine Meat Ltd, is targeting steak houses and other restaurants in Israel, Europe and Asia with its 3D-printed facsimiles of beef cuts, from fillet to rump and brisket. The startup has just raised US$29 million in funding to build a large-scale pilot factory and begin sales later this year.
"We want to change the belief that delicious meat can only come from animals," expressed Chief Executive Officer, Eshchar Ben-Shitrit.
"We have all the building blocks in place to make this a reality.”
In recent years, as environmental and health concerns drive consumers to products like faux burger patties or chick nuggets, the alternative-protein demand has boomed and has attracted venture-capital investors and food giants from Nestlé to McDonald’s.
Redefine is trying to take plant-based products to the next level by giving diners the same sensory experience as eating prime beef. While Redefine is still working on flavour, 3D printers loaded with plant-based "ink" can print the meat countless times and deliver a complex layering of muscle and fat to recreate the right texture.
The funding is "a major step toward becoming the world's biggest alternative meat company by 2030," noted Ben-Shitrit.
Meanwhile, another Israeli startup, Aleph Farms Ltd, unveiled the world's first slaughter-free ribeye steak.