Nice to meat you: 3D printed meat is on its way

By using a meat extract as ink, layer-by-layer, a food could be created that is as soft as butter and like meat, packed with nutrients. In a report by ABC news, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) was alerted to the possibility of 3D printed red meat after seeing it done with chicken meat in Germany.

Currently they have investigated a way to turn every last bit of meat from the bone into a high value product and believes it is feasible with a high protein ink or powder could be used in a 3D printer.

“You could have a sugar ink, fat ink and by using those different ink pots you could create a food that is catered to a specific calorific and protein value,”

Sean Starling, general manager of Research, Development and Innovation at MLA, said.

The 3D printed meat would be targeted at people who have trouble chewing and swallowing and suffer dysphagia, those nutrients are hard to get.

MLA had found in Germany has 3D printed food in 1,000 nursing homes, and 3D printed food would be more appetising than pureed food.

CSIRO looks at 3D printer created foods

“We believe the biggest opportunity is for people who have trouble consuming a full bodied steak, the aged and disabled, who can’t eat highly textured and highly interconnective muscle foods,” Starling said.

“We’re thinking you could still print a steak, you’ll get the perception of a steak, the taste of a steak, but it will be almost like butter to chew through and swallow.”

According to ABC news, the CSIRO’s team leader in Meat Science Dr Aarti Tobin said the combination of gels and starches with the meat ink will have to produce something delicious. Dr Tobin said the CSIRO Meat Science team had worked on recombined meat from a meat paste.

“The cubes were nice and soft, looked like diced meat, once you put it into your mouth you just pushed it against your palette and they fell apart and formed a nice poultice.”