Insight & Analysis

The case of the 3D printed rib eye steak

Published: Feb 2021

As the list of the various surprise items that we could now expect to see exiting from printers grows longer, last week saw a particularly astonishing new addition, a steak!

A 3D printer

Utilising a culture of live animal tissue, a phrase that conjures up Frankensteinian associations for sure, the first 3-D printed rib eye steak was created by the Israeli company, Aleph Farms. This is the latest evolution of the alternative protein market that has only increased in popularity during the pandemic. The alternative meat market has exploded in recent years and this new 3-D bioprinting technology differs in using living animal cells as opposed to plant-based alternatives.

San Diego’s BlueNalu is working on a cell-based seafood product alternative in 2021, Israel has also Future Meat Technologies and the Netherlands has Meatable and Mosa Meat, both of which aim to have cultivated meat products in the market by 2022. All these companies aim to grow meat tissues from punch biopsies from animals.

However so far regulation is slowing the development of these alternatives. In the US FDA approval is yet to be granted and so far only Singapore has granted regulatory approval for the sale of cultivated meat, as of December 2020.

An exciting if not slightly gothic tale reminiscent space to follow: cell cultivated meat!

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