Barcelona-based Novameat used a 3D printer to extrude a mix of lab-grown animal and plant cells into the largest ever cut of "meat analog." Founder and CEO Giuseppe Scionti is no stranger to in vitro proteins: He was previously a Polytechnic University of Catalonia research professor focused on tissue engineering for biomedical applications. From IEEE Spectrum:
Novameat's microextrusion technology, which produces 100–500 micrometer-wide fibers from different ingredients and combines them in precise ratios and organized microstructures, is key to mimicking the mouthfeel, taste, appearance, and nutritional properties of animal meat, says senior food engineer Joan Solomando Martí. The three-year old startup has been using vegetable fat and non-soy plant proteins to make realistic 3D-printed steaks.
The latest 3D-printed whole-cut prototype was made with the company's new hybrid meat analog, which they make by adding mammalian fat cells to a biocompatible plant-based scaffold. The cells are grown separately using traditional cell culturing techniques, and then added to the scaffolds, where they produce fatty acids or proteins. "This allows us to create beef muscle cuts, pork muscle cuts, and we are now also exploring fish and seafood."