Thursday, 17 October, 2019

Aleph Farms succesfully produces cell-grown meat in space

Meat Grown in Space for the First Time Ever Aleph Farms succesfully produces cell-grown meat in space
Sandra Phillips | 09 October, 2019, 09:24

Now, for the first time, meat has been successfully grown above the Earth, aboard the International Space Station (ISS) - meaning future astronauts could enjoy a supply of endless, cruelty-free meat for future travels.

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In December 2018, Aleph Farms announced that it had produced the world's first lab-grown steak with a muscle-like texture, although they admitted at the time that the taste needed work.

Cells of a cow were taken to space where they were grown into small-scale muscle tissue using a 3D bioprinter.

For the experiment, Israel-based food technology startup Aleph Farms partnered with the ISS to cultivate the cells taken from cattle in space. However, Aleph's Yoav Reisler said that the company planned to build on the experiment and make synthetic beef steaks available on terra firma using large-scale "bio-farms". However not like the plant-based formulation pioneered by firms like Past Meat and Not possible Meals, Aleph Farms focuses on "cell-grown" meat, which not exclusively tastes like meat, however can also be chemically similar to actual flesh.

On the space station, the experiment involved growing a piece of meat by mimicking a cow's natural muscle-tissue regeneration process.

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Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, told space.com "This joint experiment marks a significant first step toward achieving our vision to ensure food security for generations to come while preserving our natural resources".

Lab-grown meat is meat made in a laboratory without killing animals. All under microgravity conditions.

Amidst rising food demands and imminent environmental issues, other companies are seeking ways to produce meat in the lab. Mosa Meats in Holland and Memphis Meats in the U.S. are among Aleph Foods' main competitors.

The planet is entering a "food security crisis", according to Aleph Farms. Proving the concept in the "extreme" environment of space serves as an "essential growth indicator" of sustainable food production methods that don't exacerbate land waste, water waste, and pollution, Aleph argued.

Jonathan Berger, CEO of food-tech incubator The Kitchen added: "The mission of providing access to high-quality nutrition anytime, anywhere in a sustainable way is an increasing challenge for all humans".

This achievement, said Toubia, "follows Yuri Gagarin's success of becoming the first man to journey into outer space, and Neil Armstrong's 50 anniversary this year, celebrating the moment when the first man walked [in] space".

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