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3D-Printed Vegan Steak Could Curb World’s Food-Supply Shortages


3D-printed food is here. And it’s hard to believe that the technology came from those high-capacity printers of some years back that require not less than eight hours to produce a tiny, basic shape. The current generation of scientists has turned it into a mass-production food device that can print almost anything in a split second, provided the raw material is available.

In other words, any food composition can be re-engineered and 3D-printed to constitute desirable ingredients in a specific proportion. That’s quite an interesting innovation.

Italian bioengineer Giuseppe Scionti, a Ph.D. holder in biomedicine, has improved the technology further by inventing a plant-based meat substitute, reports Dezeen. Scionti has founded Novameat, a company that will depend on the new innovation to commercialize the plant-based meat, with a vision of making the product available in all markets.

Novameat will focus on texture as a basic feature to beat other meat substitutes on the market. While other inventions have made alternatives for hamburger patty and chicken nugget, Scionti is taking things further with bioprinting and tissue engineering to produce an alternative that’s so much like the real meat. Novameat’s 3D-printed vegan steak will offer the chewy characteristics of meat and will have a fibrous texture similar to steak and other meat.

Novameat’s 3D-printed vegan steak composition

Novament’s vegan steak contains the same amount of amino acids, minerals, protein and vitamins found in red meat but purely derived from natural, plant-based ingredients. Novameat’s vegan steak ingredients are mixed in a paste form and fed through the 3D printer, where the product is created.

Two factors inspired Scionti to create Novameat. Firstly, the fear of the earth’s sustainability in the future. Considering new studies on the cattle industry, it could be concluded that land and water requirements to support livestock production in the nearest future would not be enough in the nearest future to meet the demand. In a nutshell, Scionti believes that traditional beef products should have an alternative to spread the burden on diverse resources.

Secondly, Scionti believes that efforts to curb food-supply shortages and world-hunger could be bloated with 3D-printed meat substitutes. The 3D-printed vegan steak, which does not require refrigeration, can be sterilized and parceled for long transportations. This makes it a food supply option for very remote areas in the world. In addition to its constituent of natural preservatives, the product can be injected with medicines for the treatment of endemic diseases in the areas it could be supplied.

While the technology has provided a path to emulate steak, it has also opened doors on how other foods, such as chicken can be emulated. The process is scalable for business purposes. With an hour, it can produce up to 200 grams of Novameat at the cost of just 4 Euros, the report claims.

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