3D printed meat opportunity analysed by Australia

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

3D printing could maximise value of secondary cuts and meat by-products, MLA claim
3D printing could maximise value of secondary cuts and meat by-products, MLA claim

Related tags Meat Beef Lamb Pork Poultry Processing and packaging Innovation

3D printed meat technology could be the “next big advancement” for the protein industry, according to a research paper published by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). 

Australia’s red meat levy board reviewed 3D printed meat and said it could add value to the industry by opening market opportunities by increasing demand for red meat.

In particular, MLA claims the technology could help maximise carcass value for secondary cuts, trim and by-products by developing what it calls – rather unappetisingly – a ‘meat ink’. With the technology, meat would be printed layer upon layer in a process known as additive manufacturing.

There is a need for the creation of new business models and solutions to meet mega trends and demands from different markets who want personalised approaches to nutrients or textures rather than the current whole muscle meat products,​” Sean Starling, MLA general manager of research development and innovation said.

No threat to traditional sector

For example, the aged care sector is in need of food products that are easier to chew and have traditionally utilised pureed food as it is easier and cheaper. However, by utilising 3D printing technology there is an opportunity for the red meat industry to provide high protein meals that are more appetising for residents and can be presented in intricate premium shapes and sizes.​”

Sterling stressed 3D printed meat​ would not pose a threat to traditional meat producers, rather it may “complement​” industry efforts to push new meat products into emerging markets.

The levy board will hold a conference on the 3D printed meat in 2017. Global speakers and demonstrations will be held to showcase and analyse the opportunities presented by 3D printed meat. Attendees also have a chance to win a sit down meal made with the food made entirely from 3D printing.

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