Redefine Meat Is Starting A Food Printing Revolution [With Their New Vegan ‘Alt-Steak’]

The Israeli start-up Redefine meat recently presented their new ‘Alt-Steak’ – a plant-based meat substitute looking, cooking and tasting just like the real thing. The revolutionary new meat-alternative is produced utilizing 3D printing technology.

Out of all the interesting new ways to utilize 3D printing technology, this latest field of application might be the most peculiar: the company Redefine Meat recently employed the print technology to create the first-ever 3D printed vegan steak. The plant-based ‘Alt-Steak’ replicates the texture, flavour and appearance of real meat and will be available for consumer testing in Israeli high-end restaurants this year, with the company expecting full market availability in 2021.⁠

A High-End Product

With their Alt-Steak, Redefine Meat wanted to create a high-end product able to replace the original animal product that would be able to live up to it’s status and quality:

“Since day one of the company, we have been working on creating a tasty and affordable plant-based alternative to steaks, one of the most cherished food products and the driver of the entire meat industry. To enable mass adoption, we knew that creating an alternative meat product that was both high in quality and nutritional composition would require new technologies and production processes never seen before in the food industry,”

says Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, CEO and Co-Founder of Redefine Meat. In order to achieve that the company had to work with a number of butchers, chefs, and food technologists, like flavor expert Givaudan, to digitally map more than 70 taste parameters into its new 3D printed meat to get the texture, fat distribution, mouthfeel, and juiciness just right.

How Does It Work?

3D printing provides a wide field of possibilities for many areas of application. As always, the print material is key for the project. For their new Alt-Steak, Redefine Meat went with a mixture of soy and pea proteins, coconut fat and sunflower oil, along with natural colours and flavours to create the company’s own set of formulated plant-based ingredients: Alt-Muscle, Alt-Fat, and Alt-Blood. For the fabrication, the start-up invented their very own patent-pending AM technology back in 2018. Their machine uses almost one million dots to build their steak and can produce up to six kilograms, or 13.3 pounds, an hour and it will eventually reach 200 kilograms of meat a day. The result: a high protein, no-cholesterol steak that looks, cooks, and tastes just like beef. 

The CEO and Co-Founder states:

“The importance of using precision 3D printing technology to achieve texture, color and flavor and the combinations between them cannot be overstated. By using separate formulations for muscle, fat and blood, we can focus on each individual aspect of creating the perfect Alt-Steak product.”

Redefine Meat

With their new product, Redefine Meat is hoping to start a new era in alternative meat. Their company is aiming to create a thriving 3D printed food sector, an at this point virtually non-existent application area of print’s future technology. To achieve this goal, the Israeli start-up initially raised $6M in seed funding last year to further develop its proprietary 3D printer and has printed and provided for multiple foodie events since.

While their prime objective is to disrupt the food supply chain globally, since meat production is known to have a negative impact on the environment, 3D printed food is not only an important domain for sustainability and lifestyle. Researchers in Sydney have found 3D printed meals to be tastier and safer to eat for people with swallowing disorders (dysphagia).

We are used to 3D printing being a revolutionary force beyond the confines of our industry from its very practical use during the global pandemic, to 3D printed houses, to turning moon dust into building blocks for a moon base, there’s not much we haven’t seen yet. Redefine Meat’s project is just the next step in 3D printing conquering the food industry after two dutch students started upcycling unwanted food into 3D printed luxury snacks back in 2019. What do you think about this latest development in 3D printed food?