Tech Blog

A 3D-Printed Burger exists. Price tag: $300,000. Say what?

by Blogger on ‎01-23-2013 11:05 AM - last edited on ‎01-23-2013 03:23 PM by Retired Administrator

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Could you imagine the day where your meat will come from a printer and not a cow? This day might happen sooner than possibly imagined. Back in September, I reported that Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, had invested $350,000 into a 3D Bioprinting company called Modern Meadow (read article). Now, this US start-up has given an estimated price tag for a printed hamburger.

 

Modern Meadow was founded by a father-son duo, Gabor and Andras Forgacs, with the goal to make artificial meat using a 3D bio-printer. For now, the price tag to produce a printed hamburger would cost approximately $300,000 CAD. However, the price will drastically reduce as 3D technology advances.

 

It’s important to note that the difference between printing jewelry vs meat is that the scientists are dealing with live materials, as the cells are alive when they are being printed. So, the 3D printer is not using a type of plastic to form say a necklace, earrings, or even shoes. 

 

What’s the process of bioengineering meat? The BBC described it as follows:  

 

“To bioengineer meat, the scientists first get stem cells or other specialized cells from an animal via     a common procedure known as biopsy.

 

Stem cells are cells able to replicate themselves many times, and also can turn into other specialized cells. Once the cells multiplied to sufficient numbers, they are put into a bio-cartridge.

           

So instead of traditional ink or a material like plastic, the 3D printer cartridge contains something called bioink made of hundreds of thousands of live cells.

       

Once printed in the desired shape, the bioink particles naturally fuse to form living tissue.”

 

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(Source: BBC)  

 

There we go, that’s the process of printing a beef patty, now we can understand why the costs are so high.  The $300,000 may not bring you the fountain of youth but the technology will allow cows to not have to fear death anymore.  But I still can’t fathom the idea of eating printed meat. What are your thoughts on an artificial hamburger? Would you switch from eating real meat to 3D printed form? 

 

Please comment below. 

 

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Comments
by Exalted Expert / Community Ambassador ‎01-23-2013 08:09 PM - edited ‎01-23-2013 08:09 PM

Hmm...

  • But how does it taste?
  • would it remove ecoli and other nasty diseases?
  • Would caviar be cheaper?
  • Would what would Epic Meal's "Sauce Boss" think?
  • vegetarians would prefer the soy version?  I think it might be easier to make... and cheaper too.
  • over time.... would this solve world hunger?
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