Nov 30, 2018 | By Cameron

As the global consumption of meat increases, so too do efforts of researchers and developers to create plant-based alternatives that convincingly mimic the flavor and texture of animal products, and many are turning to 3D printing to solve the texture problem. A company in Israel called Jet Eat has begun taste testing of their 3D printed vegan steak that’s planned to be launched in 2020.

Eshchar Ben Shitrit founded Jet Eat in early 2018 and since then has been at the workbench developing the meat substitute. Shitrit used to eat meat and is familiar with its subtle attributes, explaining, “Meat is characterized by four components: the muscle, the fat within it, myoglobin and a connective tissue. We replicated, with our 3D printer and precise formulations, the complex matrix that is meat.”

Rather than creating an intricate three-dimensional shape, the 3D printer “prints rectangular layers. Within the layer itself, the embedded properties, such as flavor and color, change the ways in which the final product is perceived by the consumer,” according to Jet Eats.

Shitrit sees the discovery as part of the natural evolution of 3D printing technology, commenting that, “Nowadays, digital printing is being utilized in areas ranging from organs to dentistry and I believe that, in an increasingly digitalized world, it can be applied to food as well.”

After securing some funding from angel investors, Jet Eat participated in an accelerator program run by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Food Accelerator Network in Israel at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Jet Eat was then selected as a finalist to compete at the EIT Food Venture Summit, the winner of which receives an equity-free cash prize of $68,000.

Taste testing is ongoing at Technion as Jet Eats works to refine their formula. “It is key to have tasters if you are producing meat. People eat the meat itself, not the technology that is used to produce it, hence this needs to be tasty,” said Shitrit. He isn’t wrong.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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