3D printed alt-meat steak [Source: Steakholder Foods]
Steakholder Foods announced a large deal to commercialize their 3D printed meat products.
There are several companies developing 3D printed food equipment, and one of the leading companies is Steakholder Foods. The Israeli company uses a unique plant-based mix as print material, and a sophisticated 3D printer that assembles a steak that’s nearly indistinguishable from “real” steaks.
The advantage here is that the plant material is far less stressful on the environment than cattle, and also produced in a clean, predictable manner. In theory, “alt-meat” can be produced anywhere you can locate the Steakholder Foods printer and supply it with their proprietary material, “Nutriblend”.
Steakholder Foods has hinted at a possible shift towards commercializing their product after years of development. The company suggests that their product is now ready to be sold at a larger scale.
Wyler Farms, a significant food supplier from Israel that excels in alternative protein products like tofu, has entered into a deal with Steakholder Foods. Wyler Farms has agreed to purchase a 3D printer from Steakholder Foods and also enrolled in the company’s software and material supply service. While the specific terms of the agreement were not detailed, it was dropped that the deal was in the range of “several US$M”.
With intentions of manufacturing alt-meat steaks for mass consumption, Wyler Farms plan to distribute these new steaks via their existing channels to local stores. It appears that the facility and the sofware from Steakholder Foods will be used by Wyler Farms to design their exclusive steak.
Steakholder Foods claims to be the first in the industry to accomplish this feat:
“In our understanding, this is the first time industrial-scale 3D printing technology has been incorporated into the food industry.”
The Fusion Pro 3D printer from Steakholder Foods, capable of printing an impressive 500kg of protein products each hour, is the device in question. Regardless of the type of printer, it surely stands out as one of the fastest 3D printers available today.
However, it should be noted that printing steaks significantly differs from printing objects made of polymer or metal. The meat objects do not necessitate high-precision resolution: the print structure only needs to cater to one’s sense of taste and texture and can therefore be relatively coarse. This, in turn, enables the alternative meat printing process to be significantly quicker than other 3D printers.
This is a significant achievement for 3D printed food, as it seems to be the first time it has been implemented on a large scale, with the launch scheduled for later this year. Steakholder Foods plans on establishing more collaborations with other food providers, suggesting that alternative meat products could become a significant portion of the food market.
In the future, you may even discover one of these steaks at your local supermarket.
In conclusion, it will be intriguing to observe how this development impacts Steakholder Foods’ valuation, which we track every Sunday on our 3D print leaderboard.