The steak is made from vegetables from pear protein

The steak is made from vegetables from pear protein

The steak is made from vegetables from pea protein and fat. Found: Martin Hofmann / ETH Zurich

ETH Pioneer Fellow Martin Hofmann has developed a method to make high -quality muscle. His research into the flow properties of steaks allows him to model the marbling of real steaks.

Tofu sausages, scraps made from cooked haloes or chicken made with pea protein – other types of meat are so popular now it’s hard to imagine a supermarket without them. Nowadays, vegetable varieties are not readily available for high -quality meat products such as steak.

Martin Hofmann thinks this will change. The economist has developed a way to make steak from plants from fat and peanut protein. These products are popular with people like that: non -vegetarians who want to reduce their diet and switch to a plant -based diet.

“I want to help start a healthy, environmentally friendly and animal-loving diet for high-fat meat such as ground beef,” Hofmann said.

The kitchen as a primary workshop

Some might say that Hofmann was originally chosen to be a natural scientist. His mother was a biochemist, his father was a botanist and his sister was a geologist. For Hofmann, the scientific experiments were like football and board games for other families. “After all, every kitchen is like a small workshop,” said the ETH researcher.

Hofmann studied chemistry and economics at EPFL. For his doctorate, he met Jan Vermant, Professor of emulsions at ETH Zurich, where he studied the flow properties and mixing of emulsions. Hofmann was able to demonstrate the ability to control the oil and water particles in their flow more than any other in order to create a uniformly fixed emulsion. He soon realized that this technique could be used to make meat.

From beef protein to pea protein

Sweetness of the mouth, sweetness and redness: Two things make chewing a steak different: The fibrous nature and the distribution of the fatty meat, known as marbling. “Nature has taken her time to make bovine meat. To recreate it, there is a lot of research,” Hofmann said.

The only way to give a plant a real idea is to biochemically engine its protein to form meat. For his vegetable steak, Hofmann creates pea protein in his workshop, along with flavors and spices, to recreate the fibrous texture of his animal counterpart. For this purpose, the dough is boiled in a specially designed mixer while the chopped carrots, peas and flour are mixed with some oil and water.

Hofmann’s plant replaces the fatty meat that characterizes the steak with a mild oil in a water emulsion that can be added with additives such as vitamins and additives. Because the emulsion can be significantly reduced in fat, it is not only more environmentally friendly than animal, but even more beneficial.

Chaotic fat fibers

Marbling is an important type of steaks. If it is very strong – like Japanese Kobe beef – the meat is considered of the highest quality. However, marbling is easier to redo.

“You have to model something unusual. Because when we look at half of a steak, it doesn’t tell us what the other half looks like,” Hofmann explains. Only products that take into account the randomness of the texture can compare the unique taste and mouthfeel of steak.

Based on his research on the combination of fatty acids, Hofmann developed a way to combine pea protein and fat to recreate the normal marbling of high -fat meat. He called this kind of “advective processing.” Unlike traditional 3D printing technologies, this method always forces the flour and fat into a mixer and blends them together.

For this process, he combined two parts: The mold had two extrusion dies for the pea protein and one for the fat. The second part is Hofmann’s own program that oversees the integration process.

Ready-to-market in one year

Hofmann hopes to take his approach to market and earn a spin-off as a Pioneer Fellowship. This is his second start: in 2014, he and his fellow students founded a company called Technis, a specialist in the development of geospatial materials for smart platforms that uses he had 51 people.

But today Hofmann sees himself as a supplier. Instead of making and selling vegetable steaks himself, he plans to help other businesses make real vegetable steaks with his own technology. His goal: “I want to make it easier for people to give up on -market meat.”

The meat of the plants is growing but it is not enough to affect the cattle industry

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