Israel-based MeaTech 3D has succeeded in bioprinting a 104-gram (3.67-oz.) cultivated steak, primarily composed of real cultivated fat and muscle cells. This is, according to the company, the largest cultivated steak comprised of real, living muscle and fat tissues, without using any soy or pea protein.
MeaTech’s achievement serves as a milestone toward the goal of scaled production of cultivated bioprinted steak.
“Today’s breakthrough is the culmination of over one year’s efforts in our cellular biology and high-throughput tissue engineering processes, as well as our precision bioprinting technology,” said Sharon Fima, MeaTech CEO and CTO. “By bioprinting a 3.67-oz. steak composed of living tissue, we believe we have both validated our core technologies and placed ourselves at the forefront of the race to develop high-end, real cell-based cultivated premium meat products.”
MeaTech’s goal is developing a true replacement for conventional steak that maximizes cell-based content rather than nonmeat ingredients. “The technology that MeaTech is developing is designed to be an enabler: to supply real meat solutions that are sustainable, safe and ethical,” said Omri Schanin, MeaTech co-founder and deputy CEO. “With demand rising, it is our mission to make meat widely accessible around the world, which is why we aim for price parity to conventional meat as you know it today.”
MeaTech employed in-house-developed 3D bioprinting technology and advanced tissue engineering science in order to bring sustainable, premium cultivated meat products closer to the market.
The cells used in making the steak were produced using an advanced and proprietary process that starts by isolating bovine stem cells from tissue samples and multiplying them. Upon reaching sufficient cellular mass, stem cells were formulated into bio-inks compatible with MeaTech’s proprietary 3D bioprinter. The product, printed from a digital design file of a steak structure, was then matured in an incubator, where the printed stem cells were differentiated into fat and muscle cells that develop into fat and muscle tissue, respectively, to form the MeaTech steak.
The next step for the alternative-meat company is to get its product on shelves.
“Our go-to-market plan starts with non-printed meat, such as hybrid products containing cultured real fat, for better taste and texture in this exploding meat alternative industry,” explained Schanin. “Next year we plan to open a pilot plant that produces cultured fat for this purpose, with the aim of hitting the market as soon as possible.”
MeaTech is currently scaling up its manufacturing process by initiating operation of its semi-industrial printer next year.
Schanin pointed out that, to them, the time to get the ball rolling on production is as soon as possible. “I think people have not yet realized what enormous potential this industry has.”