Marco Pierre White will sell 3D printed fake steaks, which he claims replicate the taste and texture of real meat in his restaurants nationwide, in a first for the UK.
The celebrity chef said he was “mind-blown” when he first tasted the products from Israeli company Redefine Meat, which are made from soy and pea protein as well as chickpeas, beetroot, and coconut fat.
The process uses 3D printing, as well as artificial intelligence, in an attempt to re-create the muscle fibres of an animal, producing what the company says are “juicy yet firm” steaks that taste like beef and lamb.
Plant-based products that replicate processed meat such as burgers, sausages and chicken nuggets are widely available across the UK, including at fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s and Burger King.
But this will be the first time whole vegan “cuts” will be widely available, in the hopes of tapping into a market of meat lovers who are trying to reduce their intake for environmental reasons.
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“When I first tasted Redefine Meat, I was mind-blown,” Mr White said. “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.”
The steaks are expected to sell for £20 to £30 at his 22 steakhouses, a similar price to its beef versions, and will also be available at three other London restaurants.
As well as beef and lamb cuts, Redefine Meat will provide “premium-quality” burgers, sausages, lamb kebabs, and ground beef to restaurants in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as in Israel.
Several other companies are working on similar products to the fake “full cuts”, including Spanish-based Novameat, which also uses printing technologies, but have so far kept their products largely under wraps.
Their main competitor is the growing industry of lab-based meat, which could create meat without the associated agricultural emissions and extensive land use.
Last year Singapore became the first country to approve the sale of lab-grown meat, which is developed in a bioreactor using animal cells, but the process remains highly energy intensive and expensive.
The fake meat industry has boomed in recent years, driven by concerns over the environmental impact of livestock and animal feed.
Retail sales of plant-based meat alternatives reached £5bn in 2020, up 27 per cent on the previous year, according to analysts CB Insights, and are predicted to account for 10 per cent of the global meat industry within a decade.