The world’s first laboratory-grown ribeye steak is here
This week startup based in Israel Aleph Farms unveiled the world’s first ribeye steak to be grown in a laboratory. The steak has all of the structures common to the ribeye cut, including muscle, fat, and a vascular system, but does not come from the raising and slaughter of a cow. Instead, Aleph Farms uses innovative 3D bioprinting technology that relies on a small amount of animal cells that are incubated and grown to create the meat structure without genetic engineering or immortality.
Aleph Farms’ new cultivated ribeye steak, developed at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology – is for the time being a proof of concept. However, the company plans to use the technology to add new cuts of meat and diversify its portfolio. “In reaching this milestone, we have overcome the barriers to introducing new varieties into the cuts of meat that we can now produce. When we look into the future of 3D bioprinting, the possibilities are endless, ”said Shulamit Levenberg, professor at Technion and co-founder and scientific advisor at Aleph Farm.
Bring meat from the laboratory to life
Aleph Farms introduced its first version of the cultured steak in 2018 – a thin piece of meat that has not undergone 3D bioprinting. Since then, it has increased in size and adapted for large-scale production. In 2019, Aleph Farms grew its cell-based steak on the International Space Station out of orbit to show that the technology can create food sources with very limited natural resources such as land and water. The new cultured ribeye steak builds on the original cell-based steak from Aleph Farms and offers the same sensory experience as a thicker piece of meat you can get at a butcher shop.
“This breakthrough reflects an artistic expression of our team’s scientific expertise,” said Didier Toubia, CEO and co-founder of Aleph Farms. “I am blessed to work with some of the greatest people in the industry. We know that some consumers are asking for thicker and thicker cuts of meat. This achievement represents our commitment to meet the unique preferences and taste buds of our consumers and we will continue to gradually diversify our offerings. Additional meat designs will have a greater impact in the medium and long term. For me, this milestone is a big step towards fulfilling our vision of leading a global transition of the food system to a more sustainable, fairer and safer world. “
Aleph Farms is currently rolling out its first commercial product, which Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried in December, to its first BioFarm, a pilot production facility scheduled to start in 2022. Singapore Is The Only Country In The World That Allows Sales Given the level of innovation in the emerging industries in Israel, the Middle East country could be the next to approve cultured meat.
Photo credit: Aleph Farms