Startup Develops Method to Grow Slaughter-Free Steak

Israel-based Aleph Farms developed technology to 3D-print clean meat into shapes that mimic its animal counterparts.

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Israel-based company Aleph Farms announced this week that it has developed a new structural platform to create 3D-clean meat—also known as “cultured meat” which is made from a small amount of animal cells in a lab-setting. Previously, clean-meat technology was mostly limited to producing meat grounds, as it lacked the structural support needed to produce three-dimensional cuts of meat. “It has been a major hurdle to mimic meat’s many properties, such as texture, shape, juiciness, and flavor,” Aleph Farms Co-Founder Shulamit Levenberg said. “Our use of the four cell types found in conventional cuts of meat, including vascular and connective tissues, is the key to a product that will be closer to the beef that people crave.” Aleph Farms (previously known as Meat the Future) was founded in 2017 within tech incubator program The Kitchen. “Consumers—especially millennials and flexitarians—care about animal welfare and the environment,” Aleph Farms CEO Didier Toubia said. “At the same time, they want to eat juicy, indulgent steak—not just ‘protein.’ Our goal is to help these consumers adhere to their personal standards, while getting to enjoy safe, sustainable meat.” Clean-meat technology is booming in Israel, with brands such as SuperMeat and Future Meat Technologies racing to bring their slaughter-free products to market in coming years with the help of multi-million dollar investments. Last year, China signed a $300 million dollar trade deal with Israel to import its clean meat technologies in an effort to reduce its animal agriculture-based greenhouse gas emissions. Stateside, companies such as Memphis Meats, Finless Foods, and JUST (formerly Hampton Creek) are working to debut their clean-meat products at price parity to their animal counterparts, with JUST planning to launch its flagship product by the end of 2018.