A new food-tech startup says its vegan ‘steak’ can not only fool the tastebuds into thinking you are eating beef, but also offer a sustainable food supply system.
Novameat, a Spanish startup, says their method of 3D printing plant-based proteins can produce a vegan meal with the texture and appearance of a real beef steak.
“It is done with a printer so that we can get at the same time the appearance and the texture of a traditional steak,” Novameat founder Giuseppe Scionti told Reuters in Barcelona on Tuesday, following the first public demonstration of Version 2.0 of their steak.
“We are ordering the fibers as if they were muscular fibers, so we are micro-extruding these filaments so that the plant-based steak has at the same time the appearance and the texture of an actual beefsteak,” Scionti explained.
Printing a steak at the Culinary School of Barcelona took around 20 minutes but was worth the wait, according to students eager to try the finished product. “I like it,” said one student, chewing a flash-fried fried piece of seasoned Novameat.
Cut animal products to stop climate change
Livestock farming is a major driver of greenhouse gas emissions and consumes a 10th of the world’s fresh water and causes large-scale deforestation.
Meanwhile, people in the United States and many European countries eat more than double the recommended levels of meat for healthy diets.
Recent reports say that cutting animal products from diets would be a relatively easy and cheap way to tackle climate change.
Create a steak at home
Scionti says he expects the first commercial version of his food printer will be bought by restaurants as a novelty but hopes to produce a version for home-use as well.
“Imagine a future where somebody can have this machine at home and create customized food in their kitchen,” he said, adding they are now in talks to collaborate with top chefs in Italy and Spain
They hope to have the final version of the Novameat plant-based steak available at a top restaurant before the end of 2020.