The future is here, and it’s 3D-printed vegan salmon. Austrian supermarkets have recently started selling the alternative fish fillet, dubbed “THE FILET – Inspired By Salmon”, for those who want to eat sustainable fish with a realistic taste.
The creators, food tech startup Revo Foods, believe that the product could help revolutionize food production and make it more sustainable. In a statement seen by IFLScience, the CEO of the company Robin Simsa said, “With the milestone of industrial-scale 3D food printing, we are entering a creative food revolution, an era where food is being crafted exactly according to the customer needs.”
The sustainable alternative is made from mycoprotein, which comes from filamentous fungi, and contains a range of vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. In terms of protein content, it comes in at 9.5 grams per 100 grams, which is lower than normal salmon.
In order to achieve the realistic taste, Revo Foods worked with Mycorena, another startup, to engineer the mycoprotein to be suitable for 3D printing. This process was necessary due to the fact that 3D printing-based food production is still relatively new, as the technology has only been around for a few years.
Part of the reason why 3D-printed food is so appealing is because of its potential to reduce emissions. According to Revo Foods’ website, the production of the vegan salmon fillet uses 77 to 86 percent less carbon dioxide and 95 percent less freshwater than the catching and processing of conventional salmon.
The emissions reduction is especially important in the fishing industry, where an estimated 34 percent of global fish stocks are overfished. This occurs when more fish are caught than can be safely reproduced, leading to a population decline.
It is difficult to predict how successful Revo Foods’ alternative salmon fillet will be. However, the success of 3D-printed food alternatives likely depends on how realistic their taste is, which is something that Revo Foods is focusing on.
No matter what, the release of 3D-printed vegan salmon onto supermarket shelves has been a major step towards a future in which food production is both sustainable and tailored to an individual’s needs. Only time will tell if it becomes the future of food production, but either way, it certainly marks a new era of possibilities within the food industry.