The Spanish company Cocuus has big ambitions. She plans to revolutionize the way we eat. To achieve this, the company is developing a method for printing food on demand. Founded six years ago on the outskirts of Pamplona, the company quickly specialized in “mimetic foods”. In other words, an attempt is made to reproduce very real foods as identically as possible.
To achieve this, the company used various techniques. One of them is to replace the original ingredients used with a simple puree with predefined flavors. The brand offers magnificent plates that are deceptive at first glance.
How do you build a steak with a 3D printer?
The Cocuus company became known to the general public three years ago. While the whole world was locked at home due to the pandemic, the Spanish company decided to make a splash on social networks. She posts a few-second video of herself 3D printing a real steak.
The video quickly went viral. In total, the creators of Cocuus received more than 70,000 responses, the vast majority of which mocked their project and denounced heresy, but the communication stunt was successful. Today, this video is still one of the most viewed on the company’s social networks.
Specifically, Cocuus used a method called “teleportation” of flesh. To recreate an identical steak, the company scanned hundreds upon hundreds of pieces of meat to understand its exact composition. The goal was to find out where fat, bones and meat are located at the molecular level.
If the company is able to make bacon or foie gras based on vegetable paste, the 3D printed steak will actually be made of meat. Cocuus collects unsaleable pieces from slaughterhouses and processes them. Only the fat that surrounds the meat is made from a vegetable solution, which significantly reduces the saturated fatty acid content in the piece of meat.
An open war with the agricultural world?
Obviously, not everyone likes Cocuus’ work. In a region of Spain known for its livestock farming, such work is bound to be unsettling. The company’s co-founder, Patxi Larumbe, is the first to admit that his 3D printed steaks make people cringe.
But he assures that once the dialogue with farmers, especially cattle producers, is established, relations will be more than good. In fact, Cocuus initially purchases unsaleable cuts of meat at a high price that mass retailers don’t want to know about.
Today the Cocuus company sells blocks of plant-based foie gras or cholesterol-free bacon. A total of 80,000 pieces of real fake foie gras and 200,000 slices of vegetable bacon were sold. Thanks to the partnership with the food company Foody’s, Cocuus products can be found in many Carrefour stores on the other side of the Pyrenees.