On October 7, Israeli biotech startup Aleph Farms announced that the company conducted a joint experiment on the International Space Station on September 26th to successfully cultivate the first space artificial meat using 3D bioprinters. The experiment was conducted by Aleph Farms in collaboration with the Russian biotechnology laboratory 3D Bioprinting Solutions and two US companies. The experiment was conducted by sending bovine cells to the International Space Station and passing 3D organisms in a microgravity environment. The printer grows bovine cells into small muscle tissue similar to traditional meat.
Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, said, “Space experiments show that meat can be produced under the harshest conditions, meaning that it can be produced at any time, anywhere, for anyone. Our vision is Protecting natural resources while ensuring food security for future generations, we have taken the first step."
According to Bloomberg News, Aleph Farms said that the experimental results show that artificial meat technology can be applied to the space environment and is expected to provide astronauts with meat. But this experiment is only proof of the concept of artificial meat. It takes at least three years for the company's artificial meat steak or burger to actually reach the consumer table.
Founded in 2017, Aleph Farms promotes “no slaughter meat”, a meat product that provides the same taste and texture without slaughtering animals. It is understood that the company mainly uses the means of technology to separate beef cells from cattle, cultivate in the laboratory, and arrange and replicate the cell tissue by 3D cloning technology to form a muscle structure similar to traditional meat.
In December 2018, Aleph Farms announced the launch of the first edible artificial steak developed by 3D culture technology. At present, the company has raised nearly 13 million US dollars, including investors such as investment company New Crop Capital, Vis Vires New Protein and US grain and oil giant Cargill.
It is worth mentioning that the American artificial meat company Beyond Meat was listed on NASDAQ in the United States on May 3, and it surged 163% on the first day, creating the best performance of the first day of the US company IPO since the 21st century. The A-share market "artificial meat" concept stocks soared in mid-May. Since then, a number of A-share listed companies have indicated that they will enter the field of “artificial meat”, most of which use plant protein meat technology.
Currently, there are two main types of artificial meat in the world. One is vegetal meat like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which uses pea protein, soy, wheat, potato and vegetable oil to restore the texture and texture of animal meat; the latter extracts muscle tissue from animals like Aleph Farms. Then, it is put into a bioreactor for cultivation, and this method is still in the experimental stage.