World first: 3D-printed vegan salmon now in supermarkets

The innovative product will hit supermarket shelves on September 14.
Loukia Papadopoulos
3D printed vegan salmon.jpg
3D printed vegan salmon.

Revo Foods 

3D-printed vegan salmon filet will hit the shelves of Austrian supermarkets on September 14 thanks to food tech-startup Revo Foods. Called “THE FILET – Inspired by Salmon,” the food product is the first 3D-printed vegan seafood and the first 3D-printed product in general to be made available in supermarkets.

This is according to a press release acquired by Interesting Engineering on Tuesday.

The goal of 3D-printed fish is to offer a more environmentally friendly substitute for conventional fishing and aquaculture practices. Many fish species are at risk of becoming extinct as a result of overfishing. The practice is also responsible for habitat destruction and pollution. 

Protecting wild fish populations

Revo Foods reports that up to 60 percent of global fish stocks are overfished. 3D printing provides a solution for making fish goods without harming wild fish populations.

Algae, seaweed, or other plant-based substances are frequently included in 3D-printed fish to imitate the texture and flavor of genuine fish. These ingredients can be sourced and supplied responsibly.

Revo Foods’ new product is created with a mycoprotein derived from filamentous fungi. This healthy alternative has allowed the vegan fish to acquire a Nutriscore rating of “A” thanks to its high protein and Omega-3-content.

This is because fish that have been 3D printed can have their flavor, texture, and nutritional value customized. 3D-printed fish can be made with materials that are low in cholesterol, high in healthy fatty acids, and free of the pollutants that are so frequently present in real fish. This adaptability makes it possible to produce fish products that can meet a variety of nutritional needs and personal tastes.

However, achieving the right texture and taste that successfully mimic real fish has been a significant challenge in 3D-printed fish production. To develop a convincing seafood experience, scientists and researchers around the world are working to optimize recipes and printing methods.

An innovative extrusion process

One solution that has come out of these efforts is Revo Foods' innovative extrusion process. This process has seen the introduction of a new generation of authentic salmon substitutes with the characteristic "flakiness" and juicy fibres of fish fillets. 

In addition, Revo Foods has created the first continuous production method for 3D-printed food using its patent-pending 3D-MassFormerTM technology. This allows the company’s unique products to be mass-produced.

“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. We are not just creating a vegan alternative; we are shaping the future of food itself,” Robin Simsa, CEO of Revo Foods, said in the firm’s statement.

Now, the food-tech startup has to wait and see how popular its new product will be. Consumer acceptance, which may take some time to achieve as people get used to this unique food manufacturing technology, will be key to the success of 3D-printed fish.

In addition to consumer goods, 3D-printed fish can also be used in fields like space travel and emergency food supplies. It’s safe to say that as the technology continues to advance, future sustainable food solutions may include increasingly more 3D-printed fish.

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