Scientist uses 3D printer to develop plant-based meat substitute made with cocoa butter
The notion of vegetable alternative to meatThis is nothing new, but scientists have now found a way to make them even more realistic using a 3D printer.
Scientists from Zhejiang University in China have developed a recipe that closely resembles traditional cuts of meat, mimicking fat, muscle and blood vessels. The only catch is, there’s one ingredient you might consider edible: cocoa butter.
In the study published by ACS Food Science & Technology, the researchers describe the use of heat-sensitive cocoa butter, derived from the cocoa bean, in addition to wheat and soy protein to make 3D printed meat. But it’s the cocoa butter that helps make the dough easier to work with at higher temperatures so that it can be printed. It also allows the dough to harden faster, so the meat doesn’t warp.
Shiitake mushroom powder is added to the recipe to give it a meaty flavor. Scientists did not describe the taste and did not comment on whether it tasted good or not.
They said it is edible and nutritious. 3D printed meat contains roughly the same amount of protein as chicken.
The only downside? People with allergies to gluten or soy would not be able to eat meat. To solve the problem of allergies, the researchers also experimented with pea protein, but the dough was too soft to work with.