Meat & Livestock Australia investigates 3D printing meat technology. 3D printing meat technology for red meat products could present the next big advancement in value adding to the Australian industry, following new research published by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).
Red meat is currently positioned in the minds of consumers as a good source of protein, iron and zinc, with both a taste and texture benefit over plant-based proteins. In line with this product positioning, this project investigated how red meat could be positioned using three-dimensional printing (3DP) technology to open new market opportunities and further grow the demand for red meat to the benefit of the Australian red meat industry.
3DP food is the technology where food is created (printed) layer by layer in a process called additive manufacturing. Various ingredients can be mixed, deposited and cooked, allowing quick experimentation with food combinations. The key question at this stage of development of the technology is whether 3DP meat products are feasible (V.RMH.0034). Can it work? The answer is yes, it is possible to successfully develop, market and launch 3DP meat products because others are already doing it. 3DP food is currently served in more than 1,000 German nursing homes to residents who have difficulty chewing. Traditionally pureed food is easier and less expensive to make but 3DP provides a benefit that that the traditional pureed food cannot: meals are more appetising and residents are looking forward to meals.
That is the central message of this report: it is all about consumer benefit or rather perceived consumer benefit. A recent study on genetically modified food has shown that novel food adoption is strongly linked to perceived benefits (Vikan, 2015).