Novameat could be next step in plant-based meat

Image: NovaMeat - YouTube

Giuseppe Scionti is founder and CEO of Novameat. He is speaking and showcasing the world’s first 3D printed plant-based steak at this year’s London Food Tech Week, taking place 20- 24 May 2019.

“The idea of a 3D printed plant-based steak first came to me when I was working as a researcher and professor in Bioengineering at the UPC University in Barcelona last year. I was using a 3D bioprinter to create tissues which would serve as prototypes of artificial human organs, when I developed an ear-shaped structure that looked surprisingly realistic. I decided to show the “ear” to some world-famous (and Michelin-starred) Spanish restaurants and chefs who were very impressed, which prompted me to adapt the technology to create an edible plant-based meat, which I patented.

“As a flexitarian myself I think there’s an urgent need to revolutionise the food system and introduce more meat alternatives to help save our planet. In many ways I believe that our generation is lucky; we’re the first people in history with the technology and knowledge to be able to physically reverse climate change. If we can do it, we’ll be remembered for that.

“I decided to call the world’s first 3D printed plant-based steak “Novameat”. Nova means ‘new’ in Latin; I wanted to show that it’s a meat successor. There might be many plant-based burgers already on the market, but compared with these, Novameat is a plant-based meat substitute which has the very same taste, texture, appearance and nutritional properties as real beef steak.

“At the moment, we have different versions of the first ‘meat’ prototype, most of them made of organic rice and pea proteins, and fibres from algae. We will of course do our best to select ingredients and suppliers that support organic farming and biodiversity.

“So far, we have developed the first prototype of the product, which only exhibits the texture of a steak. But I hope that we will be able to generate a proper plant-based steak substitute (which I would like to call Novameat 1.0) by the end of 2020. I hope to see our technology being used by big food manufacturers to produce plant-based meat alternatives on a widespread basis to hit UK shelves before 2022.

“In the near future after working with chefs and food development labs, we will also be able to vary and customise the nutritional properties of the meat which will help solve hunger issues in the poorest areas of the planet, e.g we could offer ‘meat’ with extra proteins and vitamins. I do think it’s a possibility that when this plant-based meat is more widely available UK supermarkets and restaurants it could make a significant number of people turn vegan – or at the very least flexitarian. This will go a long way to impacting climate change.”

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