Steakholder Foods and Umami Meats create first 3D-printed lab-grown fish

Steakholder Foods and Umami Meats create first 3D-printed lab-grown fish
A chef plates dishes with pieces of 3D-printed cultivated grouper fish for a tasting at the offices of Steakholder Foods in Rehovot, Israel, April 23, 2023, credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen

An Israeli food-tech company, Steakholder Foods, has partnered with Singapore-based Umami Meats to 3D print the first-ever ready-to-cook fish fillet using animal cells cultivated and grown in a laboratory.

This innovative food concept aims to reduce the environmental impact of traditional fishing and farming methods and address concerns over animal welfare.

Umami Meats extracts cells from fish like grouper and eel and grows them into muscle and fat. Steakholder Foods then adds the cultivated cells to a ‘bio-ink’ suitable for special 3D printers.

“I can say that here the process is clean. It’s transparent. The end product is antibiotics free, and I assume that in the future we will understand the health benefits of this cultivated meat products,” Arik Kaufman, CEO at Steakholder Foods, said.

The 3D-printed fish fillet mimics the properties of sea-caught fish, and testers have found it difficult to tell the two apart when cooked and seasoned.

“I can feel the same, almost the same experiment, experience of the fish structure in my mouth. And I’m also really amazed by the juiciness and also the kind of a buttery feel in my mouth,” Megumi Avigail Yoshitomi, who tasted a battered grouper dish, said.

Umami Meats hopes to bring its first products to the market next year, starting in Singapore and later expanding to other countries like the United States and Japan, pending regulation.

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