A number of startups have already managed to create plant-based alternatives to ground meats like hamburger. Creating a plant-based version of whole cuts of meats, however, has proven far more challenging.
But now, Spanish startup Novameat has unveiled a plant-based steak it says is the “most realistic” yet — and it costs about the same as what you’re likely to pay for a traditional cut of beef.
Novameat’s Steak 2.0 certainly looks like the steak you’d find at the grocery store, but it’s actually made out of a mix that include peas, seaweed, and beetroot juice.
The company used a 3D printer to produce thin fibers out of the ingredients, thereby giving its Steak 2.0 the “meaty” appearance that meat eaters are used to seeing in their steaks.
Novameat may have nailed the look of steak, but founder Giuseppe Scionti told The Guardian that the company still hasn’t locked down the taste — though it expects to reach a final formulation within the next few months.
Currently, Novameat spends $1.50 producing 50 grams of its Steak 2.0, or about $13.60 per pound, which isn’t too far from what you might pay for a cut of beef at the store.
Novameat is working to bring that cost down by scaling up production. If it can do that — and perfect the flavor of Steak 2.0 — it might not be long before fake steak reaches the mainstream, just like the plant-based burgers, nuggets, and meatballs that came before it.
READ MORE: ‘Most realistic’ plant-based steak revealed [The Guardian]
More on plant-based meat: KFC to Begin Selling Meatless Fried “Chicken”