A Realistic Steak Is Fake Meat’s Holy Grail
The walls of Redefine Meat Ltd.’s lab in Rehovot, Israel, are plastered with posters of cuts of beef, including sirloins, T-bones, and rib-eyes. Books such as Whole Beast Butchery line the counters while vacuum-packed bags of what look like chops, ground meat, and gristle practically spill out of the fridge.
The engineers and food researchers are, you could say, a bit obsessed. But the startup isn’t looking to sell the perfect cut of beef. Instead, it wants to create a plant-based facsimile. The company is building a 3D printer that it says will produce a meatless steak that’s so fatty, juicy, and perfectly meaty that even the most dedicated carnivore won’t know the difference. “All meat alternatives today are basically a meat-homogeneous mass,” says Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, Redefine Meat’s chief executive officer. “If you 3D-print it, you can control what’s happening inside the mass to improve the texture and to improve the flavor.”