Just days before the world rings out in the New Year, Israel-based food technology company SavorEat introduced its 3D-printed “chef robot,” which can whip up burgers and steaks in just six minutes, at the popular chain. Israeli food store BBB in Herzliya.
The robot chef is a 3D printer that resembles an oven and customizes hamburgers to suit the client, with variations in protein, oil, texture and ingredients.
The burgers are made from a protein blend of potato, chickpea and pea, according to SavorEat CEO Rachel Vizman, who co-founded the company with Professor Oded Shoseyov (chief scientist) and Professor Ido Braslavsk of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. in 2018.
SavorEat first announced a partnership with BBB in January. The company said at the time that it would offer its meat-alternative burgers in its restaurants for a price similar to that of existing vegan options.
During the event at BBB last week, SavorEat invited guests to order veggie burgers at BBB through a mobile app, giving them the opportunity to choose their own personal specifications for the burger, including the level of fat content. and protein, the size of the hamburger. and the cooking temperature. Then they could see how the hamburger was made from scratch.
SavorEat develops plant-based meat alternatives using proprietary ingredients. The products are created and cooked by a chef robot according to the exact preferences of the user. They are created to be as close to the meat as possible in texture, flavor and experience.
Vizman said they wanted to introduce their clean meat patties to the public because “we believed that the food industry needs significant changes to remain relevant.”
The company said its “robot chef technology” is designed to shift the balance of power between the food industry and consumers by allowing the consumer to control the food production process and the food served. The chef robot allows digital production at the restoration points (in situ) according to the customer’s requirements and wishes without compromising taste and quality.
“We choose to boldly look at the changes in our future and challenge the status quo in the food industry. Through the technology we have developed, we will be able to get to know our customers better, respect them and give expression to their changing needs. Now is the time to change and it is more appropriate than ever, ”added Vizman.
The meat alternatives produced by the robot chef in a few minutes are prepared in a closed system (without human contact) and are designed to exclude allergens, genetically engineered products or gluten, preserving high nutritional values and without compromising the family diet. meat experience (both in taste and texture). In addition to meeting the needs of the end consumer, communication between the customer, the catering chain and the robot is carried out through an application that stores data securely in the cloud, a feature that allows great flexibility in updating recipes, from remotely. the control of the robot, on the one hand, and the collection of relevant information for consumers and businesses, on the other.
The BBB group will market the SavorEat hamburger and its technology solution for several weeks at designated locations nationwide. The BBB group was established over 20 years ago and is franchised with several different chains in 100 locations and restaurants throughout Israel, including: BBB, Moses, Burgerim, Moses Shop, and the Meat Deli delicatessen chain.
SavorEat in the US
While demand for alternative proteins has declined amid the pandemic, alternative protein startups still raised more than $ 3 billion in 2020, more than in any year in industry history, according to the Good Food Institute ( GFI), an international nonprofit organization working to accelerate alternative protein innovation.
“As the world sets its sights on a post-pandemic horizon and the global goal of net zero emissions, investors are quickly realizing that climate risk is an investment risk, making solutions sustainable for protein production are attractive for reasons that extend far beyond the end results. ”Maia Keerie wrote in a GFI blog post.
In one of Israel’s largest funding rounds of 2021, Israeli clean meat startup Future Meat raised $ 347 million, the largest investment in a cultured meat company to date.
Meanwhile, SavorEat has set its sights on marketing its plant-based meat in the U.S. The Rehovot-based company has signed an agreement with the US subsidiary of French food service and facilities company Sodexo is launching a pilot program in the US.
As part of the program, Sodexo will examine SavorEat’s robotic chef system and its first product, a plant-based hamburger, at institutions of higher education in the U.S. The two companies are also working to reach an agreement for the distribution of SavorEat products.
Vizman told NoCamels in September that the pilot is the first step toward the company’s plan to go commercial by 2023 and launch its solution within the US foodservice market. The pilot is expected to go into effect. in 2022.