3D printer prints meat

3D-printed steak, anyone? I taste test this ‘gamechanging’ meat mimic | Food

Across four major cities – London, Amsterdam, Berlin and Tel Aviv – a new meat was born, containing precisely no animal. The London champion of the company, Redefine Meat, is the celebrity chef Marco Pierre White. At Mr White’s in Leicester Square, chefs, investors and barbecue and burger connoisseurs – as well as former winners of MasterChef – gathered to taste it.

The tone of the event was set by the offering of a pipette of “blood” – “Doesn’t it taste like blood, though?” asked an excited waiter. Well, yes. But memo from the world of carnivore: blood is more something we put up with than something we actively want to drink.

“I’ve had vegans complaining that this is too much like meat,” said Redefine Meat’s chief executive and founder, Eshchar Ben-Shitrit. “Personally, I don’t eat meat. I think it’s wrong to kill animals and eat them. But in order to get the flexitarian, it’s better to disregard the opinion of the vegan.

Plant-based meat alternatives are nothing new, and the recent boom in demand from part-time vegetarians, or flexitarians, has fed a surge in innovation, from seitan to pea protein products. Yet this is an unarguable technological breakthrough. While a mince texture has been achievable for some time, plant-based whole cuts – which is to say, a cut that has the mouthfeel and the appearance of a steak, or a lamb chop – have long been considered beyond man’s wit.

Dishes prepared with Redefine Meat’s plant-based products. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters

Redefine Meat is cagey about which protein it uses (investors say it is soy; it also uses pea protein, along with ingredients your grandmother would recognise, beetroot, chickpeas, coconut fat), but is delighted by its method: the “meat” is 3D printed, and the mimicry is extraordinary.

The molecules of difference that create the flavour of beef, as distinct from that of lamb, are few but extremely powerful. This is certainly the closest synthetic approximation yet. Ben Bartlett, a chef and barbecue expert, said: “I judge on taste, texture and appearance – I’ve had so many bland and dull plant products. Then suddenly this came along and I was marking them 9s and 10s.”

The starter was “pork sausage” in a thick, umami-ish, Moroccan-tinged sauce of aubergine and yoghurt. It was not quite indistinguishable from the real thing, having a trace of sweetness that hinted at its true nature, but it was unmistakably the “gamechanger” that everyone describes.

But not until the beef dish was the technical achievement really shown off. It resembled a stifado, a slow-cooked Greek stew heaped with baby onions, and the form was judiciously chosen; how much it would look like a steak if it had been flash fried, I don’t know. Yet the resemblance to meat, in the grain, the way it pulls apart, the mouthfeel, is absolutely uncanny. “Many of the traditional meat alternatives are fine,” said Jane Devonshire, the 2016 MasterChef winner, “but you wouldn’t get them past my husband. ” This beef, Mr Devonshire would approve.

Redefine Meat’s 3D-printing process. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters

White is not quite the unabashed carnivore his early image put across, and spent nine months as a vegan a decade ago. “I went from 20 stone to 15, I became fascinated by the weight loss. Then I started to look at cheeseboards and just hear a voice in my head saying: ‘Eat me.’” Nevertheless, he is associated with a certain mode of eating – fine cuts of noble provenance, a world away from processed or synthetic food. But he appears genuinely to have been won over by Redefine Meat. “I think it’s the cleverest thing I’ve seen in my 45 years in the industry,” he says.

Tom Cenci, the head chef at Stoney Street restaurant in east London, is slightly sceptical about flexitarianism, particularly when it’s done for environmental reasons. “Sometimes you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. If you’re eating asparagus on Christmas Day, or you’re not treating the animal you’ve slaughtered with respect, and eating the whole of it, that’s just as bad for the environment as eating meat,” he says. Yet he notes the importance of this innovation; the vegetarian offering of 10 years ago – a risotto at the bottom of the menu as an afterthought – isn’t cutting it any more.

The genius climaxes with a lamb dish, devised to be very like loin, dressed with peas. You would, no question, be able to tell what animal this was meant to be. It is as different to the “beef” as actual lamb is to actual beef, but still has that trademark, sweet back note. Would you choose it in lieu of lamb, when these 3D cuts are slated to cost about the same? It would take some flexitarian commitment to get you over the line.

8 Players Leading the 3D Printed Meat Revolution - 3DPrint.com

Finding the perfect substitute for your meat seems like a mind twister. It’s not just about taste; meat lovers considering a move to the “artificial meats” side will demand similar texture, tenderness, and smell. More importantly, scientists attribute the need for meat to its unique mixture. Rutgers University nutritional sciences expert Paul Breslin describes this as a blend of fat and umami, a Japanese word that means the savory or meaty taste of foods. Recreating such powerful stimuli hasn’t been easy, but as the processes improve and investments pour into the alternative meats industry, the results will continue turning heads.

Countries like Israel and Singapore are at the forefront of meat alternatives, particularly cultured meats. Whether it’s a 3D printed substitute for fish, chicken, pork, or cow’s meat, these countries want them as part of their food services.

In 2021, Forbes clearly described how Singapore is in a race to attract meat alternative companies due to the lack of locally produced foods. The move is expected to help this very small, heavily urbanized island city-state in Southeast Asia attract plenty of alt-protein players to create a more resilient food ecosystem, which currently imports over 90% of its food.

On the Middle Eastern front, Israel is a powerhouse of alt-meat companies, racing to develop an alternative to just about any animal-derived product, from meat to milk and eggs. With roughly 100 alternative protein companies active in Israel, over 40 percent of those alone have the breakthrough technology that could shape the future of protein.

Here, we discuss the eight players leading the 3D printed meat revolution.

Aleph Farms

One of the pioneering firms in this up-and-coming segment is the Israeli startup Aleph Farms. It created the world’s first slaughter-free steak made from cow cells in 2018 and developed a scalable manufacturing 3D tissue engineering platform called BioFarm, to cultivate whole-muscle steaks. A year later, it gained prominence when its experiment aboard the International Space Station (ISS) resulted in the first-ever lab-grown meat in space.

Established in 2017, this Rehovot headquartered business raised over $131 million in funding from more than 20 investors, including Leonardo DiCaprio. Ahead of an initial market launch around the end of 2022, the company is heavily expanding. Earlier this year, it opened a 65,000-square-foot facility located at Stratasys building in Rehovot. It also grew its portfolio of cultivated meat by adding a new product line of cell-cultured collagen (coming to market in 2024) derived from the cells of living cows and eliminating the need to slaughter animals for its production.

Cultivated meat. Image courtesy of Aleph Farms.


After hearing about cultured beef and chicken, it wouldn’t take long before a company developed a way to produce real seafood products directly from fish cells as nutritious as conventionally grown fish. Based in San Diego, California, BlueNalu relies on cellular aquaculture, a sustainable solution to farmed or wild-caught fish.

To create an artificial fish fillet, the scientists initially anesthetize the fish, and a tissue sample is removed with a biopsy. Then, the fish cells are placed in giant vats and fed special nutrients to help them multiply before being 3D printed. If the startup can scale production, it could supply fish alternatives to millions of people without the bones, mercury, microplastics, and antibiotics usually associated with fish today.

By challenging the global agricultural and seafood supply chain, BlueNalu is paving the way for cell-cultured seafood as a global solution and plans to commercialize its flagship products in 2023.

BlueNalu showcases four menu items of its cultured fish. Image courtesy of BlueNalu.


Aiming to provide sustainable animal protein, Shanghai startup CellX creates cultivated meat products and plans to sell them at the same price as animal meat by 2025. Last year, the business debuted its product prototype, the first Chinese-made cell-cultured meat with a fibrous and 3D structure. During testing for the prototype of its flagship minced pork product, CellX also demonstrated three other structural product prototypes, namely, chunks of pork granules, filamentous scaffolds, and 3D bioprinted product prototypes.

Focused initially on domestic Chinese pig breeds, CellX quickly expanded to beef and poultry. A pioneer in cellular agriculture, CellX has now partnered with German food tech company Bluu Seafood to find solutions for the future of food. To move forward with the plan of eliminating animal meats, CellX is at the forefront of advancing the necessary regulatory approvals in China that will parachute investment, research, and ultimately, production of cell-cultured meat. Considering that China is the world’s largest meat consumer, CellX founders Ziliang Yang and Ran Liu believe there is great potential for the alternative protein market.

Eat Just

Californian startup Eat Just is selling cultivated meat. Its first product, a cell-cultivated chicken called GOOD Meat, was approved in Singapore for sale a year ago and is available at select restaurants. To create it, they use stem cells from chicken eggs, which can be cultured into the desired product. Once they have grown into edible tissue, they are then used to create a form of ink used by a 3D printer to layer it into normal-looking food. This way, the startup can create chicken-like products that taste just as good.

Eat Just has been around since 2011 when founders Josh Tetrick and Josh Balk decided to venture into vegan mayo, eggs from plants, and overall plant-based alternatives to conventionally-produced egg products. Today, with over $460 million in funding under its belt, the business is looking at a post-money valuation of one to ten billion dollars, according to PrivCo. But, more importantly, its vision to build a food system that makes it easy for people to eat better is well on its way.

Cultured chicken bites by Eat Just’s GOOD Meat brand. Image courtesy of Business Wire

Fork & Goode

Launched in 2018, Fork & Goode translate tissue engineering technologies to making cell-based animal products (notably pork meat) without slaughter, damage to the environment, and with significantly fewer natural resources than the traditional industries.

Like many of its competitors, Fork & Goode starts by taking a small sample (no slaughter required) of muscle cells from a live animal, in this case, a Berkshire pig living on a farm in New Jersey. Then cells receive the nutrient-rich feed, just like a pig would, and by the time the cells reach the desired yield, scientists harvest the meat. Finally, partner chefs add their own flair and cook Fork & Goode pork in their favorite recipes. The startup stands on the shoulders of Garbor Forgacs’s work. A theoretical physicist turned tissue engineer, Forgacs pioneered 3D bioprinting to build functional living structures, tissues, and organoids. Moreover, he is the scientific founder of the first commercial bioprinting company, Organovo (now being revitalized by its original CEO, Keith Murphy).

After branching off from Modern Meadow, a biotechnology company that uses biofabrication to create sustainable materials, the startup began making pure animal proteins and fats that are clean, traceable, and delicious. This new approach to growing food has landed the company over $3.5 million so far, and they could start commercializing culture pork meat soon.

Future Meat Technologies

This year, Future Meat Technologies hopes to commercialize “delicious cultivated meat.” The biotech startup is a spinoff out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and piggybacks on the work of biomedical engineer and entrepreneur Yaakov Nahmias. He is not just the founding director of the Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a faculty member at the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Harvard Medical School, but the first researcher to 3D print cells for the first commercial human-on-chip technology.

Through distributive manufacturing of fat and muscle cells (the core building blocks of meat), the business aims to transform global meat production into an animal-free reality. Following the opening of its first industrial cultured meat production facility in Rehovot, Israel, in June 2021, Future Meat began producing 500 kilograms of cultured meat products daily, equivalent to 5,000 hamburgers. According to the company, the small-scale production costs per pound of chicken and beef were $150 and $200, respectively, in 2019. However, the pilot production facility can bring down the cost of production to less than $10 per pound in 2022.

Future Meat Technologies makes cultured meat. Image courtesy of Future Meat Technologies.


At the forefront of 3D-printed alternative meats, MeaTech (NASDAQ: MITC) is ready to take over the cultivated meat industry. Its alternative to conventional farming and meat results from an advanced and proprietary process that starts by isolating bovine stem cells from tissue samples and multiplying them. Next, the Israeli business formulates bioinks compatible with its proprietary bioprinting technology to print a steak structure. Once printed, the product goes into an incubator to mature and form the MeaTech steak.

Focused on developing a genuine replacement for conventional steak that maximizes cell-based content rather than non-meat ingredients, MeaTech’s cultivated steak comprises real, living muscle and fat cells and does not contain any soy or pea protein typically used in plant-based alternatives.

In 2021, the company acquired Peace of Meat, now its Belgian subsidiary, and established MeaTech Europe. Ending the year with the world’s largest-ever 3D printed cultivated steak, the company promises groundbreaking results. To propel the company’s go-to-market strategy, MeaTech partnered with the BlueSoundWaves collective, led by Ashton Kutcher, and plans to open a pilot plant in Belgium to accelerate the production of cultured chicken fat.

MeaTech’s bioprinted cultured meat. Image courtesy of MeaTech.

Shiok Meats

Singapore’s Shiok Meats works with 3D printing technology to add texture to synthesized lab-grown crustacean meat for human consumption. The first of its kind cultivated meat and seafood company in the country and the South-East Asia region, Shiok currently produces crustaceans like shrimps, crabs, and lobsters using cellular agriculture technology.

In early 2019, Shiok Meats unveiled its prototype, eight shrimp dumplings (Siew Mai) that cost S$5,000 ($3,600). Then a year later, it showcased the world’s first-ever cell-based lobster meat. Shiok is on track to commercially launch its cultivated crustaceans by 2023, at $50 per kilo. Likely to be in “minced form,” the final product will be launched in a premium restaurant in Singapore.

Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.

Tagged with: 3D bioprinting food • 3D printed cell-based meat • 3d printed cultured meat • Aleph Farms • BlueNalu • cell-based chicken • cell-based meat • CellX • cultured fish • cultured meat • Eat Just • Fork & Goode • Future Meat Technologies • lab-grown meat • MeaTech • shiok meats

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

How does a 3D printer steak taste? - such a question is no longer from the category of fantasy. Israeli startup Redefine Meat has learned how to 3D print steaks that look like real meat. In mid-February, the startup completed another round of funding to start shipping its printers around the world. According to the plan, the expansion was supposed to begin last year, but the pandemic prevented it: the startup intends to promote the product first through restaurants.

Many companies produce artificial meat from soy and pea protein, coconut fat, sunflower oil, natural colors and flavors. But even if they taste like real minced meat, they lack the main thing: the texture and look of the steak. Redefine Meat founder Eshkhar Ben-Shitrit figured out what to do with it. His printer prints three types of voxels, or millimetric three-dimensional pixels. Some copy muscle, others fat, others blood. Each stake consists of an example of 3 million voxels. By changing the recipe and collecting them in different sequences and proportions, you can reproduce tenderloin, ribeye, picanha and other types of steaks. And most importantly - they copy not only the taste, but also the type of meat, and even sensations. “A steak is basically muscle, fat and blood in a complex structure that affects how it feels in the mouth and how it is cooked. The taste depends on how the marbled veins of fat melt when you cook,” Ben-Shitrit told Israel21c online.

How Ben-Shitrit met cows

Ben-Shitrit grew up on a kibbutz where his mother ran a dairy farm. He loved meat since childhood. And at the age of 13, he learned how to cook the perfect steak when he went to work part-time at his uncle's restaurant in Tel Aviv in the summer.

He graduated with a law degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, worked for a year and a half as a clerk of the Israeli Supreme Court, and in 2011 changed careers to become a product manager for Hewlett-Packard. Responsible for printing on cardboard boxes. His next job was at the Israeli company Highcon, specializing in cardboard packaging. In 2015–2017 he was its vice president of marketing.

So, Ben Shitrit loved meat. But when his first child was born, he was surprised to find that he could no longer eat beef. There were memories of his childhood on a dairy farm, where he saw firsthand how cows take care of their calves. Ben-Shitrit tried many meat substitutes, but none of them looked like a real steak. Then he had the idea to print meat on a printer to copy its texture. He quit and in February 2018 founded Jet-Eat, which was later renamed Redefine Meat.

“The company was engaged in R&D for almost two years before [in the fall of 2019] we first raised serious investments and recruited a team - in nine months the staff grew from 6 to 25 people,” Ben-Shitrit told Business Insider and last July . Now, judging by the information on the startup's website, it employs 36 people.

The startup developed its products in collaboration with scientists from the Israeli Technion Institute of Technology, using its laboratories for experiments. In September 2019The company received $6 million in seed funding from CPT Capital, a venture fund that also includes stakes in other artificial meat producers, Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat. In February of this year, Redefine Meat raised $29 million in a Series A round in which new investors joined CPT Capital - Losa Group, Sake Bosch, K3 Ventures.

1/5 cow per day

Redefine Meat already has something to boast about. Last June, the company officially unveiled the world's first plant-based 3D printed steak, then began testing its product in high-end restaurants in Israel, and Ben-Shitrit became a hero in the Israeli media with the phrase "We print steaks on a 3D printer ".

True, the fastest printer at his disposal prints about 6 kg of meat per hour. With three cartridges to recharge (artificial meat, fat and blood) and maintain the machine, on good days it produces about 90 kg of meat per day. Beef cows can weigh about half a ton, but meat can account for 60–70% of the total weight.

No meat in meat, no milk in chocolate

Not only meat becomes vegan. In mid-February, Nestle announced that it would launch the first vegan milk chocolate, called KitKat V. The product will roll out to several countries, including the UK, and if successful, will expand to other markets. It took about two years to develop the bar. The main problem was that soy and almond substitutes do not mix well with cocoa and sugar, and as a result, the desired creamy structure is not obtained. KitKat V replaced milk with rice mix. This is not the first product to replace animal ingredients. Last year, Nestle launched meat-free sausage, veggie ground meat, dairy-free ice cream, and animal food with insect protein and bean and millet meat protein substitutes.

The startup is currently completing the construction of the first production line, which will assemble a new printer model designed for 10 kg of meat per hour. “It’s not yet an industrial machine, we call it semi-industrial,” Ben-Shitrit told Business Insider.

Machines will be installed directly at customers' premises to enable them to sell fresh meat. The technology that Redefine Meat is developing could disrupt the global food supply chain, Ben-Shitrit shared his thoughts with The Times of Israel online edition. 3D printers that produce meat near the points of sale make it unnecessary to buy meat in other countries, he said.

Redefine Meat was supposed to hit restaurants late last year, but the coronavirus got in the way. During the pandemic, Redefine Meat signed contracts with several organizations interested in introducing artificial meat into the assortment. For example, in January of this year, Redefine Meat announced a strategic agreement with Israeli meat distributor Best Meister. The partner will supply not only to restaurants in Israel, but also to butcher shops. The agreement was signed after a blind tasting of alternative meats in Tel Aviv (both companies claim that it was the largest in the world - it was attended by about 600 people), which showed that 90% of meat eaters like fake meat. The company wants to conduct the same test with chefs in other countries and is preparing to enter markets in Europe, Asia and North America later this year. “This is a step towards becoming the world's largest alternative meat company by 2030,” Ben-Shitrit told The Times of Israel.

What the startup hopes for

Ben-Shitrit is going to sell his meat at the price of the real one. He believes that now is the best time to bring the product to market - many large meat companies are investing in meat alternatives for vegans, flexitarists, etc.

According to Euromonitor, global sales of meat substitutes reached $19.5 billion in 2018. In 2019, investment bank UBS predicted that the plant-based meat market would reach $85 billion by 2030. And Barclays named meat substitutes as the fastest growing segment of the food industry and estimated their market by 2030 at $ 140 billion. A large contribution to its popularity is the demand from people concerned about healthy eating, animal cruelty and climate change. Ben-Shitrit says that his equipment can in the future create analogues with the structure of chicken, pork, lamb and tuna. But he started with beef for two reasons. “Beef has the biggest business potential, it's the $500 billion industry, and it's the most environmentally damaging,” he told Food Ingredients First online. “In the beef category, there is a wide variety of products for which alternative meat is not used, mainly minced meat and sausages.” He says that the 20,000 liters of water and 25 kg of feed needed to produce 1 kg of meat is a terrible inefficiency and waste. In addition, the meat produced by his startup contains almost no cholesterol and boasts a high fiber content.

Meat for printing: how startups prepare steaks in a 3D printer :: RBC Pro

Pro Project partner

TV channel





New economy


Real estate



National projects



Debating club


Credit ratings



Special projects St. Petersburg

Conferences St. Petersburg

Special projects

Checking counterparties

RBC Library


ESG index




Technology and media


RBC CompanyRBC Life

Section 9 material0115 Main

Management   · Global business trends

Articles Bloomberg

The global market for meat substitutes has already reached $14 billion. But so far, such products are more expensive than real pork or beef, and their texture is far from the original. Startups from Israel and Spain promise to solve both problems with the

3D printer

Photo: Baptiste Virot for Bloomberg Businessweek

The walls of the Redefine Meat laboratory in Rehovot, Israel are decorated with stucco moldings in the shape of different types of steaks, among which, of course, there are tibon and ribeye. There are books about meat on the shelves, and refrigerators are literally bursting with packages of minced meat and tenderloin, or something very similar to minced meat and tenderloin.

Technicians and researchers here are downright obsessed with their work. And no, the main goal of a startup is not at all to sell customers the perfect beef tenderloin. The company wants to create high-quality plant analogues. Redefine Meat is currently working on a 3D printer that, according to the creators, will be able to print steaks so juicy and full of flavor that even the most demanding meat eaters will not be able to distinguish them from real ones.

Learn more