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3D food printing to regulate marbling patterns of restructured beef steak

Consumers prefer marbled meat and are willing to pay a higher price, in addition, to the potential wastage of meat that is considered a lower value. Meat production with varying levels of marbling was investigated by Korean Researchers using a multifilament printing approach. 

Different amounts of fat sticks were embedded into lean meat paste ink and used to produce 3D-printed meat that would cater to the diverse range of consumer preferences. The rheological behaviors of the meat and fat paste used in the multifilament were assessed and indicated that the ink would maintain shape stability after deposition. When the multifilament was used for printing, the intramuscular fat area of the cross-sectional surface was proportional to the fat added to the ink. The meat protein formed a three-dimensional gel network and showed a clear contraction pattern after heat treatment. As the fat content increased, the cutting strength of the printed meat after cooking decreased, and the cooking loss increased. All the printed steaks were well-texturized; in particular, the product with 10% fat paste had a high degree of texturization. 

This study published in Meat Science journal will provide a market for less popular cuts of beef and guidelines for using various grades of meat to generate an improved quality product through a multifilament 3D printing approach. 

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