I’m sure some of you haven’t heard of the term bioprinting. It’s a relatively new concept, combining stem cell research with 3D printing to print biological matter. Earlier this year, ribeye steak was printed using this method in Israel. The latest development out of Japan is a more complex cut of meat — Wagyu beef, known for its intricate fat marbling. The team at Osaka University has managed to perfectly replicate the look of Wagyu beef using 3D printed muscle and fat tissues, and their new methods provide a more accurate texture.
There’s still more research to be done, though. Though it certainly looks and feels like Wagyu beef, no one actually knows whether or not it tastes like Wagyu beef, or is even edible at all. More studies will be needed before the regulatory agencies in Japan will greenlight testing the cooking and consumption of bioprinted meat. In addition, the goal of sustainability is a long ways off with the cost of production being so high.