3d organic Meat Printing, the start

The demand for meat replacers is growing, because more and more people get acquaintance with the negative sides of the meat production. For example the meat industry is more polluting than all cars together, meat is very inefficient to produce because of the huge amount of food needed to grow an animal and the wellbeing of animals is most times low in the meat industry. But currently meat replacers do not have the fiber structure which can be found in meat, which is found favourable. Therefore we will research for methods to 3d print organic meat replacers focused on the structure. In the future 3D food printers could be used at the home of the customer. Our specific focus in this project is to recreate a chicken breast shape and structure using organic materials.20150925_112348

 

In the first week of the project we mostly learned about the previous researches and findings. Together with the expert, George A. Krintiras, we started by testing two of the plant based ‘meat’ recipes to see the structure of the material and comparing the recipes.

First, we made the recipe that George was familiar with as he used it for his previous research, ‘Extrusion of plant-based meat using a modified Couette Cell’, namely: a mixture of Soy Protein Concentrate (SPC) and vital wheat Gluten. We followed the recipe precisely except for one major change. Instead of letting the mixture rest for 30 minutes to make the fiber structure even more pronounced in the final result, we only let it rest for a couple of minutes. The final result was that the structure of the mixture had dough-like properties and showed small scale fiber structures.

 

Next we decided to try another recipe: the lupine-based recipe, which was as well new for the expert. This process is described below.

  • The lupine and SPI were mixed.
  • H2O with a temperature of 50˚C was added to the Lupine/SPI mixture using a blender. This formed a honey-, vla-, cake batter- type mixture that still has lumps in it.
  • After mixing it a second time, the mixture became stiffer.
  • A can of CaCL2 water was being prepared at a temperature of 50 ˚C.
  • The CaCL2 water was mixed with the SPI/Lupine with water mixture. It did not mix, but it made the powder mixture doughier. After mixing for a longer time the parts mixed but the structures/strings inside the material broke.
  • We concluded that this was a result of not following the mixing times correctly. So we did the recipe again and made a new batch.
  • We did everything as before, except for the times which were followed more accurately accordingly to the recipe.
  • We tried mixing with a whisk instead of a mixer, to avoid lumps. This wasn’t an improvement however. There seemed to be more lumps in it than before. So we need to still find a solution for the lumps.

 

Different approaches are considered to the way the organic meat could be 3D printed. Finally we have three possible methods:

 

  1. Dual Syringe with a Static Mixer (one syringe with the powder made material and one with the salt water)
  2. Post Layer spray (making one layer of the powder material and next spraying the salt water over it.
  3. Casting based method (Using a malt to get the shape and printing the texture)

 

The method with the two syringes is tried. One syringe was filled with the water mix and another with the powder mixture. First we sprayed the powder mix and next we sprinkled some water on it. The salt water mixture created immediately a solid outer layer on the powder mixture.

 

We were impressed with the entire recipe and thrilled that one of our methods worked. Also when we started dissecting the final result, we clearly saw similar fiber structure to that of meat.

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There are much more recipe possibilities. Next week new recipes will be tested. Next week we are also planning to look more to the 3D printing possibilities. As well an analysis of the chicken breast will be conducted to see what the fiber structure looks like in both a cooked and raw pieces.

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