This week, Israel-based food technology startup Aleph Farms successfully created a slaughter-free version of “minute steak”—a thin cut of beef that cooks in one minute. The company used a proprietary technology developed in partnership with Israel Institute of Technology that allows it to grow three-dimensional meat from a painlessly extracted sample of animal cells in a laboratory setting. “We’re shaping the future of the meat industry—literally,” Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, said. Currently, one of the challenges of growing a variety of slaughter-free meat (also known as cell-based, clean, and cultured meat) is creating a multicellular structure that mimics more toothsome cuts of its traditionally produced counterparts. “Making a patty or a sausage from cells cultured outside the animal is challenging enough, imagine how difficult it is to create a whole-muscle steak,” Toubia said. “At Aleph Farms, this is not science fiction. We’ve transformed the vision into reality by growing a steak under controlled conditions. The initial products are still relatively thin, but the technology we developed marks a true breakthrough and a great leap forward in producing a cell-grown steak.” While mass availability of slaughter-free meat is likely several years in the future, approximately 30 companies around the world are working to bring their flagship clean-meat products to market—with Aleph aiming for a limited launch of its products between 2021 and 2022. This week, Silicon Valley startup JUST partnered with Japanese meat farm Toriyama to to develop slaughter-free versions of wagyu beef and aims to be the first to debut a clean-meat product, likely chicken, on a restaurant menu outside of the United States by the end of the year.
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