Plant-based meat company Stakeholder Foods recently unveiled its breakthrough Beef Steak Ink, designed for its proprietary 3D bioprinter. This latest innovation is set to revolutionize commercial-scale 3D meat printing in the rapidly evolving lab-grown meat market. Stakeholder Foods, based in Israel, has set itself apart with cutting-edge technology aimed at providing a scalable solution for developing hybrid (cultivated meat mixed with plant-based) products offering realistic texture and flavor.
State-of-the-Art Technology Makes Cultivated Meat More Realistic and Easier to Produce at Scale
At the core of the company’s offering is its 3D printing technology, meticulously designed to replicate the texture of various meat cuts. While lab-grown meat has long been in development, achieving the desired texture has been a major challenge. The flakiness of a fish fillet or the tender, fibrous texture of a steak is largely determined by the natural growth of muscle and fat cells in a live animal.
Mimicking this texture with lab-grown cells is no easy feat, and many current cultivated meat products predominantly imitate simpler textures, such as meatloaf, meatballs, and patties. Stakeholder Foods’ 3D printers and ink, however, have made it possible to replicate the texture of more complex cuts, including fish fillets and steaks. The ink, made from plant-based ingredients, is formulated to mimic the flavor, texture, and appearance of the meat it will become. Once the desired proportion of cultivated cells is added, the printer can produce a structured hybrid product in minutes, ready for cooking.
Breakthrough 3D Bioprinting Process Streamlines Large-Scale Hybrid Product Manufacturing
The innovative 3D printing process is entirely digitally controlled, allowing for the quick transformation from digital design to a ready-to-cook product. By combining this speed with the fully automated functionality of the Fusion Pro 3D bioprinter, Stakeholder Foods has seemingly overcome a significant hurdle in the development of cultured meat products: scalability.
This industrial-scale technology now enables manufacturers to efficiently produce large quantities of hybrid meat products, with the 3D printer capable of flawlessly replicating a designed product repeatedly. Stakeholder Foods’ first multimillion-dollar agreement in July to establish a major production facility showcases the scalability of this technology. The pilot facility, to be built in partnership with a Gulf Cooperation Council-based government body in the Persian Gulf, will demonstrate its potential.
Stakeholder Foods CEO Arik Kaufman commented, “After extensive development, Stakeholder Foods is thrilled to sign this initial agreement with a strategic partner, marking our first significant income stream and a major step for the cultivated meat industry.” The launch of beef ink forms part of Stakeholder Foods’ broader strategy to develop a varied portfolio of hybrid meat products, providing businesses with the means to create realistic cuts of meat and innovative products previously unattainable with traditional meat. This expanding line of inks is anticipated to yield recurring revenue for Stakeholder Foods following the initial sale of 3D printers to businesses seeking to develop custom-cultivated meat products.
Featured photo by Madie Hamilton on Unsplash.
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