By Rachael Green, Benzinga
Last month, Steakholder Foods (NASDAQ: STKH) launched Beef Steak Ink, the latest in its line of plant-based meat inks made for the companys proprietary 3D bioprinter. The Israel-based 3D bioprinting cultivated meat company is a leader in the emerging lab-grown meat market thanks to its innovative technology that aims to give manufacturers a scalable, easy-to-adopt solution for developing hybrid (cultivated meat mixed with plant-based) products with realistic flavor and texture.
Steakholder Foods Reports Its Ink And Printer Tech Make Cultivated Meat More Realistic And Easier To Produce At Scale
At the heart of the B2B-focused companys offering is the 3D printing technology designed to realistically mimic the texture of different cuts of meat.
While researchers have been experimenting with cultivating meat cells in a lab for a while, one of the key challenges theyve struggled to overcome is achieving the right texture. The flakiness of a fish fillet or the tender yet fibrous mouthfeel of a steak comes largely from the way muscle and fat cells grow inside a living, moving animal.
As such, mimicking that texture with lab-grown cells is challenging, and many of the cultivated meat products on the market today are modeled on easier-to-mimic textures like meatloaf, meatballs and patties.
With Steakholder Foods 3D printers and ink, however, achieving the texture of more complicated cuts like fish fillets or steaks is becoming possible. The ink is made with plant-based ingredients formulated to mimic the taste, texture and appearance of the meat they will become. After adding the desired proportion of cultivated cells, the printer can produce a structured hybrid product in a matter of minutes thats ready to cook.
Steakholder Foods 3D Bioprinting Process Finally Gives Businesses A Way To Potentially Efficiently Produce Hybrid Products At Commercial Scale
The 3D printing process is completely controlled digitally and can go from digital design to ready-to-cook product in a matter of minutes. By combining that speed with the fully automated function of Fusion Pro 3D bioprinter, Steakholder Foods seems to have broken through one of the key barriers that had been holding manufacturers back from developing cultured meat products: scalability.
With this industrial-scale technology, manufacturers finally have a way to produce tons of Hybrid meat products per month. Once the user designs the product they want in the software, the 3D printer can get to work perfectly recreating that design over and over again.
Investors will have a chance to see that scalability in action as the company signed its first multimillion-dollar agreement in July to establish a large-scale production facility. The pilot facility will be built in partnership with a Gulf Cooperation Council-based government body in the Persian Gulf.
After intensive years of development, Steakholder Foods is excited to sign this first agreement with a strategic partner, generating our first income stream that represents one of the first substantial income agreements for a company in the cultivated meat industry, a huge step forward, said Steakholder Foods CEO Arik Kaufman in a statement on the news.
The launch of beef ink is part of Steakholder Foods broader strategy to develop a diverse portfolio of hybrid meat products that businesses can use to create realistic cuts of meat or design innovative products that would have been impossible with traditional meat. After the initial sale of the 3D printer to businesses looking to develop their own custom-cultivated meat products, this growing portfolio of inks is expected to serve as a source of recurring revenue for Steakholder Foods.
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