Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil in 3D Printed Meat Industry

What is 3D Printed Meat?

3D printed meat is created using 3D printers from plant-based ingredients or lab-grown meat cells. So, not all 3D meats are plant-based or vegan, although no animal is slaughtered to create 3D meats.

coconut oil in 3D printed meat industry (oilcocos.com)

The objective of 3D printed steak is to create a more eco-friendly and sustainable food alternative than conventional meat which are obtained from livestock or fishery. The Good Food Institute reports that 77% of agricultural land is needed for animal husbandry, which accounts for only 17% of world’s consumed calories. Hence, shifting these land purpose to growing crops will be more efficient, not to mention producing less gas emission as well.

Chart, bar chart describing gas emission per kilogram of food product, beef to poultry meat. Is 3D meat printing the answer? (Source: https://ourworldindata.org/environmental-impacts-of-food)

3D Printed Meat Industry Growth

The 3D printed food market is forecasted to reach USD 44.5 Billion in 2026. 3D printed products are the 2nd most Googled innovation, amounting to 10,000 searches per month globally. Almost half of these searches are for 3D printed meat.

Lately, the rising concerns regarding health, global warming, and farm animal cruelty drives the 3D printed steak industry growth and popularity. The global 3D printed meat market is projected to grow at a CAGR value of 55.5% until 2026.

3D printed meat industry: for a better future? (oilcocos.com)

Ingredients of Plant-Based 3D Printed Meat

There are four types of materials to create 3D printed steak products:

Lab-grown meat cells

Lab-grown meat in 3D printed meat industry (oilcocos.com)

Cells taken from cows, chicken, or other livestock animals can be developed into cultivated meat. These cells are cultivated to grow into muscle fibres, fat, and connective tissues, just like conventional meat.

Meat byproducts

Animal organs are livestock byproducts that can be utilized into food through 3D meat printing

When livestock is slaughtered to obtain their meat, there are non-meat leftovers such as skin, intestines, feet, tongue, and many more. In fact, more than half of the animals’ weight is byproduct. These byproducts contain protein, fat, collagen, and carbohydrate, but in forms that is considered unappealing by many. 3D meat printing process will reproduce these byproducts into meat-like shape, hence increasing sustainability and reducing landfills.

Plant-based materials

Ingredients of 3D printed meat, from chickpeas to coconut oil

Like its name, plant-based materials come from different types of plants, such as cereals, legumes, and vegetable oils. Redefine Meat, for instance, makes its products from soy protein, pea protein, chickpeas, beetroot, nutritional yeasts and coconut oil. Coconut-derived material is often use due to its high saturated fat content, a type of fat that is most commonly found in animal products.

Insect-based materials

Utilizing insects as food with 3D meat printing

Edible insects such as mealworm larvae, beetles, moths, butterflies, and crickets can be processed into 3D printed meat. While one might squirm over the thought of eating insects, its protein content should be a welcome consolation. According to European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100 gram of insects contain 9.96 to 35.2 grams of protein. Not bad when compared to 100 gram of meat which contain about 16.8-20.6 grams of protein.

Coconut Oil in 3D Printed Meat Industry

One of the challenges of creating 3D plant-based meat is emulating animal fats by using plant-based fats. Basically, animal fat behaves very differently from plant-based fat because of their differing melting points. Vegetable oils are usually liquid at room temperature. However, coconut oil is an exception. Here’s why coconut oil in 3D printed meat industry function as a crucial ingredient.

Coconut oil in 3D printed meat industry

When kept in fridge, both animal fat and coconut oil are solid. Most animal fat melting points are between 22 to 40⁰Celcius, whereas coconut oil has a melting point of 25⁰Celcius.

Why animal fat and coconut oil have a higher melting point than most vegetable oil? The answer lies in both animal fat and coconut oil’s content. While most vegetable oil contain mostly unsaturated fat, both animal fat and coconut oil contain mostly saturated fat. Read more about coconut oil fat content in our article about MCT oil here.

Why do saturated fats have higher melting points than unsaturated fats?

Because saturated fat molecules can come close to each other, creating a much denser structure than unsaturated fat molecules. The dense structure makes saturated fat very stable, hence does not oxidize quickly and have a relatively higher melting point.

Why coconut oil is perfect as 3D printed meat ingredient? See saturated fat chain vs unsaturated fat chain (Source: davidson.weizmann.ac.il)

To get good quality coconut oil for your 3D printed meat business, contact us through email ([email protected]) or chat +628119322777 (WhatsApp and WeChat available).

3D Printed Meat Companies

Currently, Israel is leading the 3D printed meat industry race with the highest number of start-ups. One of its most famous 3D meat companies is Redefine Meat.

Redefine Meat is a food technology company creating 3D printed plant-based meat. It is headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel, and was founded by Adam Lahav and Eshchar Ben-Shitrit in 2018. In order to grease the transition from meat eating behaviour to plant-based meat, Redefine Meat works together with Giraudi Meats, Monaco’s meat importer, creating start-up “New Meat.” New Meat raised USD 170 million in 2022 and operates factories in Rehovot and the Netherlands.

Coconut oil in 3D Printed Meat Industry

In Europe, Spanish 3D printed steak company Novameat created 3D printed plant-based beefsteak. The beefsteak was praised as one of the most realistic alternative meats, a testament to founder Giuseppe Scionti’s expertise in bioengineering and tissue regeneration.

Coconut oil in 3D Printed Meat Industry

Beef is not the only meat that can be emulated. Vienna-based Revo Foods created seafood alternative named Salmon With Attitude. The plant-based salmon meat utilized pea protein and citrus fiber. Plant-based seafood is beneficial in two ways. Not only it has the potential to mitigate overfishing, but also decrease human consumption of toxic waste materials such as mercury and PCBs that are mostly found in fish meats.

Coconut oil in 3D Printed Meat Industry

Nowadays, more and more meat printing companies are popping up. In 2022, Mooji Meats was founded in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The Company aims to blend the innovation of 3D printing with the cost-effectiveness of conventional extrusion, because 3D meat printing is not exactly cheap. Mooji Meats utilizes a new printing technology developed by Harvard, hoping to improve production speed and land Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods as clients.

Not all 3D Printed Steaks are Plant-Based

Several 3D meat companies also use lab-grown meat as raw material for their cultivated meat. Hence, it will taste exactly like meat because it does come from animal cells. Lab-grown meat market is forecasted to worth USD 1.99 Billion by 2035.

Not all 3D printed meat are plant-based

Eat Just is a US start-up company selling 3D printed meat from cultivated meat (lab-grown meat). In 2020, Singapore has given Eat Just the greenlight to sell its lab-grown chicken meat. To create its cultured chicken meat, they use stem cells from chicken eggs. The cells then grown into edible tissue, which in turn will be used as 3D printer ink to print chicken meat. Eat Just’ latest invention is a plant-based egg substitute made from mung beans.

Creating plant-based eggs from mung bean

Another well-known Israeli startup, MeaTech, is also printing real meat without the need for slaughterhouses. Simon Fried, the business head of MeaTech, says that 3D printed steak is a combination of tissue engineering and cell growth technologies. The Company made their 3D meat using actual bovine cells that mature into muscle and fat. Stem cells were taken from a cow and then grow them in a bioreactor.

Coconut oil in 3D Printed Meat Industry, the importance of finding the right food ingredient for the future of the planet

Aleph Farms, also from Israel, is one of several key players in global cultivated meat market. Together with startup Iron Ox, they determine to pursue rapid growth while cultivating a net zero emission. While Aleph Farms produces bio printed steak, Iron Ox operates indoor farm using artificial intelligence to efficiently harvest crops.

Iron Ox's indoor farming machine (Source: ironox.com)

One obvious route to market adoption is price competitiveness. In November 2020, Indian startup Clear Meat claimed it has successfully cultured chicken mince for about 800-850 Indian rupees, almost 20% cheaper than the price of regular processed chicken.

Printing 3D cultivated meat has its own challenges. The meat still requires animal products such as gelatine and collagen to achieve the right texture and structure. These materials, however, are expensive. In 2022, scientists in China and Singapore have developed a plant-based ink made from cereal husks that can be used to print 3D lab-grown meat. Utilizing food waste for alternative plant-based ink will greatly save production costs.

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The 3D printed meat industry is still in early stage, but it has the potential to significantly reduce the environmental impact of meat consumption. It will save water, land, energy, and antibiotics that are usually used in traditional animal agriculture. Growing public awareness of how the meat can contribute to global food sustainability is important for product adoption. Let us hope that this invention could help save the planet!

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