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The first synthetic meat ribeye is 3D printed in Israel

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The first fully synthetic ribeye of veal has recently been introduced. Their appearance? Completely appetizing.

The laboratory meat has been developing for years. What was once a millionaire eccentricity now looks like the future of meat products. There are still significant obstacles to overcome. Economic feasibility and scalability are not optimal yet. But if we base ourselves on the advances experienced in recent years, we can venture to conclude that they will be.

It is difficult to predict what awaits us for years to come. However, everything points to the fact that cattle farming could contract without the demand declining.. The volume of product necessary to satisfy the clientele could be out of the cell cultures and bioreactors of industrial buildings dedicated to the production of laboratory meat.

Flavor, suitable smell and textures have already been achieved. Synthetic lamb meat is served punctually in private tastings organized by companies in the synthetic meat sector.. Gastronomic critics who have had the pleasure of tasting it openly assure that it is indistinguishable from traditional meat.

In the case at hand, the one with the beef ribeye that has mobilized headlines in recent months, those responsible for the project are the startup company Aleph Farms and the biotechnology division Technion from the Faculty of Biomedicine and Engineering of the Israel Institute of Technology.

Aleph Farms has a extensive experience in the world of laboratory meat. Induced the perplexity of meat lovers for the first time in 2018, when he presented a cut of beef extracted from his laboratories. At that time they did not use the 3D printing food, a methodology that, on the contrary, if applied to the recently announced steak.

3D printing of food with cell cultures allows the differentiation of tissues by imitating their arrangement in butcher cuts. A) Yes, Aleph Farms ribeye has a lean body surrounded by layers of fat, infiltrated fat and other details that equate it to the steak with which we are all familiar.

This means that in the Israeli company they can now produce high-quality pieces of meat without having to slaughter animals. Something that will make vegans and vegetarians happy for ethical reasons.

The evolution of Aleph Farms has been amazing in the last three years. The business initiative has gone from a criticizable prototype to a ready-to-mass-produce product. It's more, the company has the relevant technology to develop fillets to suit the consumer. In the press release that Aleph Farms published in Medium indicate: "We now have the ability to create any type of steak and we plan to expand our portfolio of quality meat products".

One of the most interesting aspects of 3D food printing, especially in the case of laboratory meat from cell cultures, It is the possibility of customize fabrics, textures and flavors to suit the demands of each client. A) Yes, It would not be strange that in the future the meat was segmented not only by the cut and the animal of origin, but also by the fat content, the hardness, juiciness or presence of certain tissues.

The CEO of Aleph Farms, Didier Toubia, comment about it: "This achievement represents our commitment to meet the unique preferences and tastes of our consumers". The attributes of the meat could also vary between markets to better suit the needs of each region.. The possibilities are practically unlimited.

La carne de laboratorio, o carne sintética como algunas veces se la denomina, presenta características organolépticas equivalentes a los productos cárnicos a los que estamos acostumbrados. Nada tiene que ver con las alternativas de origen vegetal que emplean proteínas procedentes de legumbres o cereales para recrear un alimento similar.

Los sustitutos cárnicos de origen vegetal han sido denostados de forma recurrente por no alcanzar unos baremos mínimos de similitud. De hecho, algunas voces influyentes dentro del vegetarianismo y del veganismo recomiendan a quienes prueban estos productos por primera vez que lo hagan asimilando que se trata de un producto completamente diferente, independiente de la carne animal. De este modo los consumidores no se decepcionan y aceptan con mayor facilidad el artículo.

Así pues, la carne de laboratorio tiene opciones para dominar este mercado. Existe todo un ecosistema de start-ups en torno a esta tecnología. Una tecnología que, además de mover enormes montos de dinero, democratizará el consumo de carne, reducirá nuestra huella ambiental y hará que la industria de la alimentación goce de una mayor ética y humanidad.

En la californiana ciudad de San Diego (EE. UU.), BlueNalu pretende sacar al mercado marisco sintético procedente de cultivos celulares. La legislación del país norteamericano aún no se ha puesto al día, por lo que no está claro si la Secretaría de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos y la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos​ darán el visto bueno a la comercialización.

En Silicon Valley existen otras muchas empresas con objetivos similares. Aleph Farms compite en Israel con Future Meat Technologies y otras. En Holanda Meatable y Mosa Meat quieren poner sus productos en los estantes del supermercado en 2022.

Son muchas las empresas que trabajan para revolucionar el mercado de la carne, pero todos sus esfuerzos podrían ser en vano si los gobiernos nacionales no se fijan en el movimiento pionero de un pequeño país insular. Singapur aprobó el 11 de marzo de 2020 un producto de Eat Just basado en un cultivo celular de pollo. Bajo la marca GOOD Meat, esta carne se provee a pequeña escala a los restaurantes metropolitanos.

El visto bueno de la administración singapurense puede estar relacionado con el plan estratégico 30 by 30, mediante el cual el gobierno del país quiere garantizar que al menos el 30% de los alimentos consumidos en Singapur sean producidos en su territorio. Para lograrlo tienen una fecha límite exigente: 2030.

Pese a la iniciativa de la nación asiática, en el resto del planeta el silencio administrativo es absoluto. La postura en EE. UU. y en la Unión Europea parece apuntar a la precaución. Es posible que los planes de venta de algunas empresas del sector de la carne de laboratorio tengan que posponerse. No tardaremos en descubrirlo.

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Sobre el autor

Artículo realizado por el equipo de redacción de DiegoCoquillat.com. Cuenta con profesionales tanto en el terreno de la hostelería, gastronomía y turismo, como en de las nuevas tecnologías e innovación.

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