Novameat’s 3D-printed ‘steak’ looks gross, but could it save the planet?

3d printed steak rice peas seaweed plant based beefsteak zoom

Does your mouth water at the prospect of a nice juicy steak? How about a nice juicy 3D-printed steak, made using a paste composed of vegetable-based materials like rice, peas, and seaweed? That’s what a new Spanish startup, Novameat, is working hard to bring to market.

“I developed the first 3D-printed plant-based beefsteak while I was working as a postdoc researcher in tissue engineering, and assistant professor at the UPC university in Barcelona,” founder Giuseppe Scionti told Digital Trends. “I was lucky … because this city is a great hub for both 3D printing companies and world-renowned restaurants.”

Scionti said he started his attempts to manufacture a meat-free beefsteak by choosing ingredients regularly found in agriculture, whose cultivation would not represent a threat to the environment. He listed three main advantages to plant-based meat products as compared with animal meat. These include the ethical factor of no animal slaughter, health-related factors such as no cholesterol, and environmental factors such as fewer greenhouse gas emissions and no deforestation. The ingredients are turned into a special paste, before being transformed into the finished raw steak material. This can supposedly be done at a speed of more than a quarter pound per hour.

3d printed steak rice peas seaweed printer plant

But how does it taste? After all, for many consumers, this is going to be the main question it all comes down to — regardless of any planet-saving ambitions on the part of its creator.

“The first focus of my investigation in this project was to obtain a plant-based meat substitute with the same texture, consistency, and integrity of the animal pieces of fibrous meat,” Scionti said. “In fact, although some companies have already managed well to reproduce the taste of animal meat — [such as] the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger — before my technology was patented there was no existing method able to replicate simultaneously the texture, the microscopic morphology, and the macroscopic appearance of a fibrous piece of meat such as a beefsteak, a chicken breast, or a tuna steak with this level of complexity.”

Scionti hopes that Novameat’s plant-based meat products will be on the market in the next three to five years. There is still much work to be done before then, however.

“At the moment, our products can mimic the texture and a simplified appearance of beefsteaks and chicken breast meats, but achieving products that are able to simultaneously mimic the texture, the appearance, the taste and the nutritional properties of specific pieces of fibrous meat is not trivial,” he said. “That will be the focus of Novameat in the first place. Then it will be fundamental to scale up the production, to bring it to the supermarkets and to the rural areas of the planet, where meat substitutes are most needed.”

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Smart Home

Food wish fulfilled? Genie launches next-gen pod-based cooking system

Microwaves were innovative and Keurig coffee pods are handy, but a new cooking system called Genie promises to create healthy, tasty, and affordable meals in just 3 minutes using a chef's process.
Computing

Facebook’s crypto isn’t a new Bitcoin, it’s Disney Dollars for a new world order

Facebook has already secured tens of millions in investments for its new cryptocurrency for Facebook known as Libra. The platform is still being developed, but has already brought in backing from Visa, Mastercard and PayPal.
Emerging Tech

The grainy texture of Saturn’s rings reveals clues to their origins

New analysis of data from Cassini shows that Saturn's rings are not smooth, but rather are grainy in texture. Scientists believe that tiny moons within the rings cause materials to cluster and form clumps and straw-like patterns.
Emerging Tech

The Very Large Telescope gets upgrade to aid its hunt for habitable exoplanets

The Very Large Telescope is growing even bigger. The latest addition to the telescope's suite of instruments is a tool called NEAR (Near Earths in the AlphaCen Region) which will hunt for exoplanets in the nearby Alpha Centauri star…
Emerging Tech

Your smartphone could be the key to predicting natural disasters

A challenge for atmospheric scientists is gathering enough data to understand the complex, planet-wide weather system. Now a scientist has come up with a clever idea to gather more data using smartphones and Internet of Things devices.
Emerging Tech

Tormented robot pulls a gun on its creators in latest Boston Dynamics spoof

Boston Dynamics' remarkable robots often receive a good few shoves in its videos, and the eager mistreatment recently inspired a team of L.A.-based video artists to give its rather amusing take on the matter.
Smart Home

A new survey by Adobe shows an evolving market for voice applications

A new consumer survey conducted by Adobe Analytics has uncovered a growing desire for more diversity in voice-controlled applications and devices as well as growing engagement with voice ads.
Emerging Tech

Live long and prosper? Experimental compound could slow down the aging process

Want to extend your natural lifespan beyond its current limits? A metabolite of biomolecules — found in pomegranates of all places — could help slow the aging process. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Airbus’ new single-aisle jet has longest range in its class and a fancy cabin

Airbus has unveiled the design of its new A321XLR jet, an aircraft that it says will be capable of trips of around 5,400 miles, making it the world's longest range single-aisle airliner when it takes to the skies in 2023.
Computing

Google Calendar is back online. Here’s the latest on the outage

Google Calendar is down, and that means that instead of a day packed with back-to-back meetings and timely reminders, users are instead being treated to an error message. Here's the latest on the worldwide outage.
Emerging Tech

A tiny magnet accomplishes enormous feat, sets a new world record

A magnet housed in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory has set a record for the strongest continuous DC magnetic field ever recorded. Here's why that matters to our future.
News

Brush up on your makeup skills with YouTube’s new augmented reality feature

YouTube will soon let users try on makeup while watching popular makeup tutorials through augmented reality. Viewers will be able to actually try on the makeup products the online tutorials are showcasing and promoting.