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Steakholder Foods Unveils World's First Plant-Based, 3D-Printed Eel: A Sustainable Revolution in Seafood Industry


Steakholder Foods, a leader in 3D meat and fish printing technology and cultivated cell innovation, has made a groundbreaking announcement: the launch of the world's first plant-based, 3D-printed eel. This development marks a significant milestone in the seafood industry, showcasing Steakholder Foods' advanced capabilities in replicating complex textures through precision layering and a unique combination of materials in their proprietary 3D printing technology.


The company's innovative approach to seafood production is currently based on plant materials, with plans to incorporate cultivated eel cells in the future. This strategy is aimed at achieving price competitiveness through economies of scale in cell development. Steakholder Foods' unique printing process not only accurately mimics the texture of eel but also significantly reduces the amount of ingredients used compared to typical plant-based alternatives. This efficiency positions Steakholder Foods' plant-based, 3D-printed eel at the forefront of the industry.


In an effort to commercialize this innovative product, Steakholder Foods is exploring collaborations that involve offering proprietary 3D printers and ink. The company estimates that its partners and customers will be able to mass-produce 3D-printed eel at a competitive price range, addressing the cost challenges associated with the current global prices of eel.


The global eel market, valued at USD 4.3 billion in 2022 and growing at a CAGR of 2.19%, primarily depends on wild eel. However, this industry faces several critical challenges, including overexploitation, the risk of extinction, breeding difficulties in farms, regulatory challenges, and issues like poaching and black-market trading. These challenges are particularly acute in Japan, which accounts for a significant portion of global eel consumption. The introduction of Steakholder Foods' plant-based, 3D-printed eel presents a sustainable alternative to these issues.


Arik Kaufman, CEO of Steakholder Foods, emphasized the significance of this launch in the seafood industry. He highlighted the potential of their DropJet technology – a solution for fish and seafood printing – to enable partners to generate products on an industrial scale of hundreds of tons monthly. This technology not only offers lower costs compared to wild eel but also provides the flexibility to create a variety of printed products using the same production line. Such versatility could significantly boost profitability for food companies and lead the way to a shift towards more efficient and sustainable practices in the industry.


The launch of Steakholder Foods' printed eel is more than just a new product introduction; it represents a paradigm shift in the seafood industry. It exemplifies the broader possibilities of 3D printing technology in creating sustainable, cost-effective, and versatile food products. As the world grapples with the environmental and ethical challenges of traditional seafood production, Steakholder Foods' innovation offers a glimpse into a future where technology and sustainability converge to redefine our food systems.

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