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Robo-chef cooks up customized veggie burgers at Israeli restaurant

BBB restaurant in Herzliya partners with SavorEat, a start-up that specializes in meat alternatives, to create tailor-made patties

A man holds a cut half of a plant-based patty, made and cooked by a robot according to customer requirements, offered by Israeli fast food brand BBB in Herzliya on December 28, 2021.  (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)
A man holds a cut half of a plant-based patty, made and cooked by a robot according to customer requirements, offered by Israeli fast food brand BBB in Herzliya on December 28, 2021. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

An Israeli fast food restaurant is serving up a veggie patty made and cooked by a robot that tailors ingredients and cooking time to customer tastes.

“It’s the first time that a machine is making a personalized hamburger by itself,” said Racheli Vizman, CEO of SavorEat, an Israeli start-up that specializes in meat alternatives.

Customers can use an app to choose the amount of vegetable protein or fat in their patty as well as its size and how they want it cooked, she said.

The “robot chef”, which is the size of a large oven, can make three different steaks simultaneously — though a human staff member makes up the burgers.

It mixes ingredients including beans, potatoes and chickpeas to create a texture that “resembles that of real meat”, said Vizman, who started the business in 2018 along with two professors from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The steaks at the BBB restaurant in the coastal city of Herzliya are cooked within minutes, she said, adding that they contain no animal proteins and are kosher.

A man extracts a cooked plant-based patty, produced by a robot according to customer requirements, to be offered in a sandwich by Israeli fast food brand BBB in the Israeli coastal town of Herzliya on December 28, 2021. – (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP)

“We hope to respond to the cravings of vegetarians, vegans and flexitarians,” who occasionally eat meat, BBB’s Ahuva Turgeman said.

Around five percent of Israelis say they are vegan and the market for meat alternatives is on the rise, according to SavorEat.

Racheli Vizman, CEO of SavorEat, a start-up specializing in the production of alternatives to meat, speaks to reporters next to a cut half of a plant-based patty with a meaty taste, made and cooked by a robot according to customer requirements, offered by Israeli fast-food brand BBB in Herzliya on December 28, 2021.(JACK GUEZ / AFP)

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