World’s first plant-based, 3D-printed eel unveiled

World’s first plant-based, 3D-printed eel unveiled
via Stakeholder Foods
Michelle De Pacina
By Michelle De Pacina
January 9, 2024
Israeli cultivated meat company Steakholder Foods has unveiled the world’s first vegan 3D-printed eel, created using its line of 3D meat printers.
About the eel: According to Steakholder Foods, the current version of the 3D-printed eel is plant based, but they have plans to incorporate ethically harvested eel cells once economically feasible. The printing process reportedly involves a “unique combination of materials” and a “precise layering technique” to closely resemble real meat. 
“The launch of our printed eel marks a pivotal moment in the seafood industry, showcasing the vast potential of our DropJet technology – Steakholder Foods’ solution for fish and seafood printing,” said Arik Kaufman, CEO of Steakholder Foods. 
Steakholder Foods’ plans: The company is aiming for industrial-scale production, offering cost-effective alternatives to wild eel with the flexibility to create various printed products. The technology reportedly enables the company to significantly reduce ingredients used in its products compared to typical plant-based alternatives.
“This technology is designed to enable partners to generate products on a potential industrial scale of hundreds of tons monthly, not only at lower costs compared to wild eel, but also with the flexibility to create a variety of printed products using the same production line,” Kaufman noted.
Global eel market: The global eel market, valued at $4.3 billion in 2022, is facing challenges such as overexploitation and the risk of species’ extinction. Amid a surge in demand for seafood and supply constraints, alternative seafood sources with its technology are seen as a potential solution, despite challenges like price and customer acceptance. Other companies in the cultivated seafood space include Konscious Foods and Good Catch. 
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