3D-printed plant-based steaks could arrive in 2021

3D printing differs from other methods companies have used for reproducing meat taste and texture. Both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat use combinations of plant-based proteins, oils and binders, like methylcellulose and potato starch, to achieve a realistic texture for their ground beef and patties — though the texture of ground beef is arguably easier to achieve than that of steak. Atlast Food uses mushroom fibers to emulate animal tissue in its meatless bacon.

Whether it be for health, environmental or ethical reasons, consumers are buying more meat alternatives. Last year, market analysts at Barclays estimated the global market for meat substitutes could reach $140 billion by 2029, according to a June 2019 article from the research firm Statista. Recent data seems to support that trend, as Forbes reported in early May that alternative meat sales grew since the start of the pandemic.

Redefine Meat isn’t the only company attempting 3D-printed meat alternatives. Spanish company NovaMeat is working on 3D-printed steak and pork substitutes. NovaMeat CEO Giuseppe Scionti told Reuters his company’s product will be available “in selected top restaurants” in Europe this year, and will have a wider release in 2021. 

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