Research

Meat produced in space

Meat produced in space

But unlike the plant-based formulas pioneered by companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, Aleph Farms specializes in "cell-grown" meat, which not only tastes like meat, but is also chemically identical to real flesh.

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Four years later, meat is being grown in space as well.

Bovine cells were harvested on Earth and taken to space, where they were grown into small-scale muscle tissue using a 3D bioprinter.

The experiment was led by Israeli startup Aleph Farms with assist from Russian biotech firm 3D Bioprinting Options and USA -based Meal Supply Applied sciences and Finless Meals.

Cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka conducting the "cultivated beef steak" experiment aboard the International Space Station on September 26, 2019.

Cultivated, slaughter-free meat produced by in vitro cultivation of animal cells is an ambitious solution to the challenges facing the planet in the future.

To grow the meat from cow cells, scientists mimicked the natural process of muscle cell regeneration occurring inside a cow's body.

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"In space, we don't have 10,000 or 15,000 liters of water available to produce one kilogram of beef", Aleph Farms CEO Didier Toubia said in a press release on Monday.

"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", he said.

Aleph Farms was co-founded along with food-tech incubator The Kitchen. All under microgravity conditions.

3D Bioprinting Solutions said in a statement that along with its partners, it has laid "the groundwork for renewable protein sources" for long-term crewed missions. This research - undertaken in some of the most extreme environments - aims to serve as an indicator of sustainable food production methods that do not exacerbate land waste, water waste and pollution.

The latest method, which requires less resources than traditional animal farming, could potentially be used in future to produce food on long space missions, according to the company.

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 United States are among Aleph Foods' main competitors. "On Earth or up above, we count on innovators like Aleph Farms to take the initiative to provide solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems, such as the climate crisis".


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