3D printed fish and synthetic meat at the table, what the expert says

Minelli: “The microbiota needs a heterogeneous diet, not foods created as drugs”

3D printed vegan salmon and test tube meat could arrive on Italians’ plates. But if in the latter case there is a wall that goes from the Government to Coldiretti to hinder their progress, in the former the novelty will arrive in October thanks to the Revo Foods company which created ‘The Filet’. “A salmon created artificially, or rather literally ‘printed’ in three dimensions thanks to a multifunction robot capable of aggregating, in a compound that would resemble a slice of salmon, extracts of algae and vegetable proteins”, explains Mauro Minelli to Adnkronos Salute, responsible for the South of the Italian Foundation for Personalized Medicine.

But what impact and what value can the daily consumption of these foods have for those who are not veganand above all for those who strive to apply to the complex dynamics of human nutrition the even more complex and intriguing interactions with the dynamic, vital and strategic world of the intestinal microbiota which, from the richness of a heterogeneous but calibrated diet, draws its own extraordinary and recognized health function?”, asks the expert. “The 3D vegan creation would even seem appetizing and the fish steak would be free of all the risks of the real fish product, such as heavy metals and microplastics which unfortunately marine animals feed on in contaminated waters which often end up on our plates”, adds the immunologist who recently published ‘The secret of health – Healthy microbiota and correct nutrition’ (Armando Curcio Editore).

And, in fact, “in terms of the vegan alternative, pseudo-salmon is appreciated for its content, in addition to the proteins present in quantities of approximately 10 grams in 100 grams of product, also and above all for the rich heritage of omega-3 fatty acids, distributed between EPA and Da and coming from the microalgae Schizochytrium sp. The quantity of fiber also appears to be conspicuous – he continues – which, in 100 grams of finished product, seems to be equal to approximately 5 grams, mainly represented by chitin and β-glucans in turn deriving from mycoproteins which, in 3D printed salmon, are the quantitatively most relevant constituent ingredient”.

“In order not to alter the litmus test of our health, represented by the regular qualitative-quantitative structure of that enormous heritage of microscopic hosts that live in our intestine, today there is a lot of clinical evidence according to which it is necessary to eat like our ancestors – recalls Minelli – following the now more than famous dictates of the Mediterranean diet, since the composition and metabolic activity of the microbiota is strongly dependent on eating habits, conforming to any changes in eating styles”.

“Nor can we, on the one hand, boast of being creators, enthusiasts and staunch promoters of the Mediterranean diet, and on the other hand be dazzled by the idea of ​​a ‘new’ which, although theoretically alluring, is based on a scientifically incorrect asset considering the “There is an undoubted need to provide the varied and immense cohort of our metabolic micropartners with the widest availability of macro and micronutrients”, warns the immunologist.

According to Minelli, “balance in dietary patterns is always to be sought not in the food produced as if it were a drug or a supplement, but in the variety of seasonal and local foods which historically and culturally belongs to us, keeping in mind that fish should also be chosen not only thinking about its freshness or the fact that it was caught in the sea, but also considering its seasonality and origin. Just like the land, the sea also follows its own life cycle that cannot be ignored or disregarded, and everyone knows that the availability of fish changes throughout the year.”

“It will always be good to reiterate that those who do not adopt vegan choices can still make ethical and sustainable choices, perhaps deciding to bring seasonal fish to your table that benefits the environment and its balance, guaranteeing the quality of what you eat and, above all, saving money. Without neglecting – he concludes – as a last but not least point, that technological innovation could perhaps find equally advantageous applications in supporting the fishing sector by enabling it to operate with competence and profit, using the best equipment and the most technologically advanced strategies in compliance sustainability, quality and food safety”.