Scientists have created 3D printed Wagyu beef, which looks like a real deal

What kind of steak do you want: raw, well done, or 3D printed? Well, thanks to Japanese scientists, this is now a reasonable question, as they have managed to create the world’s first 3D printed wagyu beef. Although it sounds unbelievable, researchers at Osaka University said that the steak made in the laboratory is very similar to the steak made from the world-famous Wagyu beef. 

To achieve this goal, the team isolated stem cells from Wagyu. These stem cells then hatch into muscle, fat, and blood vessel cells. With the help of 3D printing technology, it turned into a 3D pile similar to a real steak, even in marbling. Marbling is what most meat connoisseurs and food experts will look for because it gives the meat its rich flavor and unique texture. 

Wagyu beef is famous all over the world because of the same marble pattern. According to an article published in the journal Nature Communications, the produced steak is 5 mm in diameter and 10 mm in length. “In this study, there are a total of 72 fibers, including 42 muscles, 28 adipose tissues, and 2 capillaries, which were constructed using integrated tendon gel bioprinting technology and assembled by hand to make steak-like meat,” the paper details illustrate. 

Lead author Dong-Hee Kang said in a statement: “Using the tissue structure of Wagyu beef as a model, we have developed a 3D printing method that can produce complex customized structures such as muscle fibers, fat, and blood vessels.”. What does this mean for food and meat manufacturing? The team explained that this could be the beginning of a more sustainable future. 

“This work can help usher in a more sustainable future with the widespread use of artificially farmed meat closer to existing products,” Dong Xikang said. Similarly, lead author Zai Matsusaki added that improved technology will help make fine adjustments to fat and muscle composition. In this regard, the team explained to help people make smart decisions about the type of meat they want to consume. 

Further developments in technology will help meat eaters consider what they will consume based on the amount required to cultivate meat fat, taste, and health parameters. The development coincides even once that “cultivating meat has attracted great attention but from the point of moral, economic, environmental and public health,” the paper said. 

Technology also bears greater relevance, when current animal husbandry technology is considered unsustainable from the perspective of climate change and population explosion.

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