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The future of plant-based meat substitutes for restaurants

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Founded in 2018, Redefine Meat is a start-up Israeli who seeks to out-of-phase the livestock industry as we know it today. Its objective is to create vegan alternatives to beef and that said meat substitutes are of a quality such that the average consumer will pounce on them on the shelves of supermarkets or restaurants.. What is wanted is to completely displace meat of animal origin in the food industry, although that's a long-term goal.

Redefine Meat is on the right track to achieve it. In summer 2020 threw a line of plant-based products that caused a sensation among the select list of luxury restaurants among which were distributed.

No wonder a startup like this is gaining so much popularity in such a short time. Part of the secret to its success lies in the location of its headquarters. Israel is one of the technological centers where innovation is made in the field of synthetic meat and meat substitutes of plant origin. Companies such as Aleph Farms, Future Meat Technologies, Redefine Meat o SuperMeat, to mention some. Solo Silicon Valley (California, OF. UU.) has shown a greater interest in this field than the Israelis.

For all these reasons, recent statements in foreign media by Daniel Divovsky, executive director of innovation and technology at Redefine Meat, they carry a lot of weight and allow us to glimpse what the future of this industry is going to be.

Tanto Redefine Meat, which has recently started collaborating with restaurants, as Beyond Meat e Impossible Foods face enormous challenges in making vegan alternatives to free-range meat a mainstream product in our lives.

According to Divovsky, the biggest challenge right now is achieve absolute fidelity of the texture, taste and appearance compared to normal meat. It is something that has been thoroughly investigated and although considerable progress has been made, the result is still not perfect, there is room for improvement.

Traditionally this is considered one of the disadvantages of meat substitutes of vegetable origin compared to synthetic or laboratory meat. However, Divovsky sees the light at the end of the tunnel. He believes that the 3D food printing revolution will help bring the structure and complexity of complete parts like chops and steaks within reach shortly.. For the moment it is better to try to imitate those more processed products such as nuggets, hamburgers or sausages; in which a more than satisfactory result has already been achieved.

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So that, all eyes are on 3D food printers. Since this technology appeared more than three decades ago, the devices have not stopped receiving improvements. At present the structural complexity of a muscle is beginning to be obtainable. And this evolution continues at the same time that machines continue to be developed to serve industries associated with hospital complexes..

Following Divovsky's statements, one of the most important aspects is possibility of working layer by layer with increasingly smaller thicknesses. The thinner the thickness, the more freedom designers have to recreate organic geometries similar to those formed by muscle myofibrils..

Another advance that the innovation director appreciates is the multimaterial 3D printing, a relatively recent advance that has the greatest potential for true realism when it comes to a vegan alternative to meat. Never lose sight of the fact that a steak, for example, has leaner parts and others with streaks of fat. These differences are what confer the final experience when eating the cooked piece.

En Redefine Meat, They are already working with 3D food printing with multimaterial work capacity. In the start-up They did not take long to understand the true value of this technology and acquired the necessary equipment as it was available in the market.

The procedure, known as MMFP (of English "multi-material food printing»), has helped them greatly to achieve a Alternative steak more faithful to the real product. The modified equipment they have in the plant, the Redefine Meat 3D Printer, allows to generate voxels (small cubes of microscopic dimensions) with plant alternatives to blood, fat and protein simultaneously and following the structures of the meat.

Regarding these structures (cell packaging and the like), Divovsky hints at what he thinks the future could be: freedom when designing synthetic products as parts with geometry on-demand, meat sculptures, and other concepts that could open a new world to gastronomic creativity of signature and molecular cuisine. Think of the work of Dinara Kasko but with muscular tissues suitable for human consumption ...

On the other hand, one of the advantages offered by Redefine Meat 3D Printing and other similar 3D food printing systems is purely commercial.. Since the MMFP team can recreate any piece of meat using plant ingredients from the CAD files provided, companies can diversify the items produced and cover a wider range of products: ribs, chest, lomo, or even other channels.

Just that, digitization of designs, one of the main advantages of 3D printing food such as plant-based meat substitutes. By digitally generating processes and products, it is possible to make a rapid prototype, evaluate results quickly and iterate at a much higher rate which had been observed in the livestock industry.

The possibilities of interaction with artificial intelligence solutions are also very promising

But without going so far, what is really needed at this very moment, according to Divovsky, is that meat lovers dare to try and appreciate the meat substitutes of plant origin that are already being made available to buyers in stores and restaurants. Market penetration is still timid and only pioneer consumers are regularly purchasing such products..

At the same time that the adoption of vegan alternatives to meat is widespread, the alternative meat industry will take off at an unusual speed.

About the Author

Article by the editorial team of DiegoCoquillat.com. It has professionals both in the field of hospitality, gastronomy and tourism, and new technologies and innovation.

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