Meat-Tech, a publicly traded (TASE: MEAT) Israel-based cultured meat company, announced today that for the first time it successfully 3D-printed a cultured beef fat structure composed of bovine fat cells and bio ink.
The bovine fat cells and bio ink were created from stem cells in Meat-Tech’s labs. Meat-Tech says its edible bio ink helps “create an accurate, digitally-printed structure by supporting 3D printed cells.” The edible structure Meat-Tech announced today reached a height of 10 mm, which is larger than previous versions of 3D-printed meat the company has produced.
Meat-Tech’s milestone comes on the heels of news earlier this month that the company had closed a $7 million round of funding and had started the process of filing for an IPO in the U.S.
The 3D-printed cultured meat space has certainly heated up in the past few months. Fellow Israeli company SavorEats announced just today that it had raised $13 million by going public on Israel’s stock exchange (where Meat-Tech is also traded). And at our Smart Kitchen Summit in October, Spanish startup NovaMeat revealed that it has been 3D-printing hybrid cell-and plant-based meats.
There is still some debate around the efficacy of cultured meat as a whole. Pat Brown, CEO of Impossible Foods thinks that mass market cultured meat never going to happen. But that is not stopping the startups looking to prove the un-cultured wrong. Future Meat is looking to bring costs down by using fibroblast cells as its starter cells. Super Meat launched a restaurant that serves its cell-based chicken meat. And Eat Just, which is also developing cell-based meats, expects it will take 15 years before cultured meat to reach the “Coca-Cola phase” of ubiquity.
There is still a lot to happen for cultured meat to move from the lab to our dining tables including technology, scaling and even governmental regulation. But announcements like the one from Meat-Tech today show that slaughter-free meat is getting closer to reality.