Israeli lab beef company Aleph Farms Ltd. has unveiled a minute steak grown from single cells—the world’s first, according to the company. In a statement released Wednesday, the company said the lab-grown steak delivers the complete sensory experience of eating a steak, bearing the appearance, texture, smell, and taste of traditionally sourced meat.
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Calcalist did not try the steak in question, but a video published by Aleph shows a group of people, among them Aleph's vice president of research and development Neta Lavon, enjoying the steak alongside a tomato and zucchini pasta.
Aleph Farms was founded in 2017 by Israeli food-tech incubator The Kitchen, a part of Israeli food processing company the Strauss Group Ltd., in collaboration with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The company said it was able to reproduce different types of beef cells, such as muscle, fat, and blood vessel cells, creating a structure that closely resembles that of a conventional cut of meat.
Lab-grown meat is considered a sustainable alternative as it requires significantly less land, water, and feed than traditional beef farming, and the meat is produced without the need for antibiotics. Moreover, it is produced without harming animals. Lab meat companies have been widely quoted as saying they can scale up production enough to offer their product at price parity with traditional meat within a few short years.
Most of the companies working to scale lab-cultured meat have focused on reproducing muscle tissue to create sustainable and cruelty-free alternatives to a variety of processed meat products, such as ground meat, sausages, and nuggets. "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,” Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, said in a statement.
Toubia conceded Aleph’s steaks are still “relatively thin.”