Start-up up hails 3D food printing 'the tech of the future' after ‘world first’ salmon filet launch

By Oliver Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

Revo Foods claims it has developed the first-ever continuous production process capable of mass-producing 3D-printed food
Revo Foods claims it has developed the first-ever continuous production process capable of mass-producing 3D-printed food

Related tags Salmon 3d printing seafood alternatives

Austrian food-tech startup Revo Foods has unveiled what it claims is the first 3D printed product available in a supermarket worldwide.

The company’s 3D printed vegan salmon filet will be available in REWE supermarket in Vienna from this week.

The Vienna-based start-up already makes plant-based seafood such as smoked salmon, and salmon and tuna spreads. Its first whole-cut vegan salmon filet is made from algae, pea protein and mycoprotein from Swedish company Mycorena.

The product – named ‘THE FILET – Inspired by Salmon’ – is also the first product made with Revo Foods’ patented 3D food printing technology called MassFormer. According to the company, this new extrusion technology allows the seamless integration of fats into a fibrous protein matrix - leading to a new generation of authentic seafood alternatives, with the typical “flakiness” and juicy fibers of fish filets. Using its patent-pending 3D-MassFormer technology, Revo Foods says it has developed the first-ever continuous production process capable of mass-producing 3D-printed food.

The launch marks an important milestone for food tech and plant-based whole cuts, said Robin Simsa, CEO of Revo Foods. “With the milestone of industrial-scale 3D food printing, we are entering a creative food revolution, an era where food is being crafted exactly according to the customer needs. We are not just creating a vegan alternative; we are shaping the future of food itself. This new process is a gamechanger for meat alternatives, making it possible to create a new category of authentic products such as vegan steaks and filets.”

The main ingredient of the filet is mycoprotein created from filamentous fungi, which boasts “excellent nutritional values and a natural meat-like texture”,​ the company said. The product has a Nutriscore rating of A due to high protein and Omega-3-content.

Mycoprotein has only minimal processing requirements and needs fewer resources (water, emissions) in its production compared to conventional fish production, making it significantly more environmentally friendly, the company added. 

The mycoprotein ingredient is the result of a co-development between Revo Foods and the Swedish startup Mycorena, in which Mycorena´s “Promyc” protein base was engineered specifically for 3D printing purposes. This development was supported with €1.5 million of European funding.

Revo Foods, founded in 2020, has two patents on a new technology for continuous 3D printing of proteins, and has been funded with €7 million to date. The filet will also be available to buy online, costing €6,99.

Speaking to FoodNavigator recently, Sisma was insitent that 3D printing technology can reach scale​. “Chocolate or pasta lines have a system that deposits a material which goes into a 2D conveyor belt,”​ he explained. “All we're doing is adding a third component to it, like a third movement axis. So from a technology standpoint, it is not that revolutionary. But the products that you can create are really revolutionary we think. Our whole cut salmon fillet has a very fine distribution of muscle and fat material. You can’t create that with standard extrusion processes. It has the functionality of a salmon fillet. It has layers, which separate when you press it with a fork. I don't see another way of achieving this except with food printing.”

'Urgent' need for sustainable seafood

The new product is pitched as a promising solution to provide consumers with sustainable alternatives that do not contribute to overfishing. "The key to success of these products lies in recreating an authentic taste that appeals to flexitarians,"​ the company said.

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