If you can 3D-print a gun… if you can 3D-print a home… then brother, you might as well pull up a chair and 3D-print yourself some meat while you’re at it, because these masses aren’t going to feed themselves.
Plant-based meat substitute startup Novameat recently unveiled a closer look at the plant-based meat alternative it’s been producing with its proprietary 3D-printing technology. Referred to as “the world’s biggest whole cuts of #culturedmeat,” the man-made slabs are created from a meat fiber matrix that’s blended out of water, vegetable fat and plant proteins, and designed to mimic the texture, taste and look of real meat.
The news comes on the heels of a €250,000 cash infusion the Barcelona-based Novameat received recently from the Spanish government, and could mean big things for the future of the sustainable, plant-based meat industry.
Since its foundation in 2018, Novameat has set itself to the goal of creating “clean meat” that can be sustainable reduced without relying on the notoriously inefficient animal agriculture industry. By 3D-printing cuts of flank steak, the company hopes to play a part in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and help to offset the massive water waste that results from the 346.14 million tons of meat that humans consume globally each year.
Although Novameat’s proprietary technology mimics the texture and appearance of real meat, by the company’s own admission, the taste is “not ready yet”. Still, the company has big plans to roll out a series of customized printers in 2021 that will be available for distribution throughout the food industry — meaning that a restaurant near you might soon be able to produce the tissues needed to make delicious plant-based steaks.
Novameat’s technology was the recent beneficiary of a significant investment by New Crop Capital, which is known for backing some of the most popular alternative protein and meat replacement companies.
“We think the global food supply chain is broken and we are focused on fixing one of those challenges, which is animal protein,” Dan Altschuler Malek, a managing partner at New Crop Capital, told TechCrunch in 2019. “We see that there is an opportunity to shift consumer behavior to reduce their consumption of animal protein products to products that are at the price point that people will pay.”