An Israeli food-tech startup has announced two significant advances in the production of clean meat.
Clean meat - which is cultured in a lab using animal cells - is currently not vegan. But supporters say it offers a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional flesh, as well as reducing animal slaughter.
Now Tel Aviv–Aleph Farms Ltd. says it has the technology to 'bring clean meat products to a whole new level' by expanding the composition of the meat itself and growing it in a more structured way.
According to the company, until now, clean meat has often been limited to simple structures of one or two types of cell tissue, limiting its applications to ground meat.
"Aleph Farms’ 3D technology relies on creating a complex tissue composed of the four core meat cell types. They are then able to grow these cells on an intricate proprietary three-dimensional platform," according to the brand.
"Aleph's clean meat mimics traditional cuts of beef in both structure and texture, but without beef's huge environmental impact, its heavy resource requirements, or its contribution to climate change."
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The team of scientists working on the project is headed by Professor Levenberg, Dean of the Bio-Medical Engineering Faculty at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Aleph Farms.
Levenberg - named one of the world’s 50 leading scientists for her groundbreaking interdisciplinary work in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine by Scientific American - has turned her focus to clean meat.
She said: "It has been a major hurdle to mimic meat’s many properties, such as texture, shape, juiciness, and flavor.
"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."
Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, added: " Consumers – especially millennials and flexitarians – care about animal welfare and the environment.
"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."
Bruce Friedrich, Executive Director of The Good Food Institute [GFI], a nonprofit promoting the clean meat industry, is excited about Aleph Farms' vision for the future.
He said: "GFI’s objective is to help leading scientists and entrepreneurs apply their expertise to clean meat development. Israel’s startup mindset allows the team at Aleph to leverage this rich history and technological leadership to create breakthroughs in clean meat.
"Aleph Farms' advantages are its strong R&D capabilities, academic collaborations, and experienced team. These give the company a significant leg up!"