Israel’s Redefine Meat to serve 3D-printed, plant-based meat at eateries in Europe
Startup also unveils first ‘whole cuts’ for high-end restaurants in the UK, Germany, Netherlands
Ricky Ben-David is The Times of Israel’s Tech Israel editor and reporter.
Israeli startup Redefine Meat will begin offering 3D-printed plant-based “meat” products at select high-end restaurants in Europe, the company announced on Tuesday, also unveiling what it called “the world’s first” whole cuts that resemble lamb and beef cuts.
In doing so, the company claimed to have “cracked the holy grail of the alternative meat industry,” which is largely producing minced products that often lack the fibrous texture found in animal meat.
Redefine Meat’s range of products, called New Meat, now includes the whole cuts, plus burgers, sausages, lamb kebabs, and ground beef as it hopes to become “the world’s largest meat company by offering every single cut that a cow does.” Dishes made with the products will become available in restaurants such as Marco Pierre White’s Steak Houses in the UK, a chain of 22 eateries established by celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, and Michelin-starred restaurants Ron Gastrobar in the Netherlands by Dutch chef and TV personality Ron Blaauw.
In Israel, dishes with Redefine Meat’s products are sold in some 150 restaurants and establishments, according to the company, including Coffee Bar and Hotel Montefiore in Tel Aviv.
The company is working on a launch in the US and Asia.
Founded by entrepreneurs Eshchar Ben-Shitrit and Adam Lahav, Redefine Meat (formerly JetEat) produced its first 3D-printed plant-based steak in 2018. The company says its patented industrial-scale digital manufacturing technology manages to fully replicate the muscle structure of beef. The products, made of a mix of pea protein, soy, beetroot, chickpeas, and coconut fat, are high in protein, have no cholesterol, and look, cook, feel and taste like the real deal, according to the startup.
Redefine Meat uses 3D printers and “ink” to “print” the steaks. The firm aims to sell the printers and the cartridges to meat distributors worldwide, who will both print and distribute the meat once produced.
The “ink” is made of plant-based ingredients similar to what a cow eats. It contains proteins from legumes and grains, to create the muscle texture of the alternative meat; it also contains fats from the plants, to mimic the beef fat, and natural flavors and colors, to mimic the blood factor in meat and its juiciness.
Earlier this year, Redefine Meat completed a $29 million funding round led by Hong Kong-based VC firm Happiness Capital and Tel Aviv- and NY-based Hanaco Ventures. The company said at the time that the funds will go toward its commercial launch and international growth as the firm completes the construction of a large-scale pilot line production facility for its 3D alt-meat printers.
In January, the company announced its first strategic agreement with Israeli meat distributor Best Meister to distribute its products to restaurants and butchers in Israel after a successful blind-tasting of alternative meat in an event co-organized by the two companies, which demonstrated 90% acceptance rate amongst meat-eaters.
“We’ve achieved a level of superiority in taste and texture that surprised even some of the most recognized chefs in the world, and our unique technological capabilities enable us to replace every part of the cow for the first time,” Ben-Shitrit said in a statement Tuesday.
White said he was “mind-blown” by how the products taste. “The world needs to eat less meat, but the reality is that until now plant-based meat products have fallen way short in terms of the quality and versatility required for our menus. Redefine Meat’s New-Meat products are pure genius, giving you all the sustainability and health benefits of plant-based, without the compromise on taste and texture,” he said.
Blaauw added: “For me, this is a gamechanger, as we can now serve another variety of high-quality meat to our customers that just happens to be made from plant-based ingredients. Even now my head is still spinning with the possibilities this meat creates for our menu.”
Beyond its focus on quality, Redefine Meat says it also has an environmental bend.
“Over the past few weeks at COP26, we’ve seen world leaders commit to landmark goals such as the elimination of all deforestation by 2030, which requires a significant reduction in global meat consumption,” said Ben-Shitrit.
“Redefine Meat has its eyes set on the real problem – not meat, but the way it’s produced. We have a genuine solution that today, not in 2030, preserves all the culinary aspects of meat we know and love, but eliminates cattle as a means of production,” he declared.
The global meat substitute market is expected to reach $8.1 billion by 2026, according to data firm Allied Market Research, as consumers seek to cut their meat intake for health, animal welfare, and environmental purposes.
Firms that have made headlines in the sector are the Los Angeles-based Beyond Meat Inc, a Nasdaq-traded producer of plant-based meat substitutes whose products simulate chicken, beef and pork sausage, and are available at most grocery stores in the US and at restaurant chains.
Another firm is Impossible Foods Inc., a California firm that selects proteins and nutrients from plants to recreate the experience and nutrition of meat products. The firm launched the Impossible Burger in 2016, available in grocery stores in the US; its plant-based sausage product is available at Starbucks in the US.
In Israel, Aleph Farms created a range of lab-cultivated products using meat cells, which it says looks and feels like meat but are produced without killing animals. The company recently nabbed a $105 million investment that included actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio as an investor.
Shoshanna Solomon contributed to this report.