Israel-based start-up Aleph Farms has successfully cultivated cell-grown meat in space, over 248 miles away from any natural resources.
The meat was produced in the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) in an experiment on 26 September, as part of an international collaboration between Aleph Farms, US-based companies Meal Source Technologies and Finless Foods, and Russian tech company 3D Bioprinting Solutions.
To cultivate the meat, bovine cells were harvested on Earth and taken to space, where they were grown into muscle tissue under zero-gravity conditions using a 3D bioprinter supplied by 3D Bioprinting Solutions.
Aleph Farms’ production method mimics the natural process of muscle-tissue regeneration occurring inside the cow’s body, but under controlled conditions.
The company’s overall goal is to enable access to safe and nutritious meat anytime, anywhere, using minimal resources, and the company claims that this experiment serves as clear evidence that this method of meat production is a viable way to tackle issues such as land waste, water waste, and pollution.
Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, said: “In space, we don’t have 10,000 or 15,000 litres of water available to produce one kilogram of beef.
“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.
“This keystone of human achievement in space follows Yuri Gagarin’s success of becoming the first man to journey into outer space, and Neil Armstrong’s 50th anniversary this year, celebrating the moment when the first man walked on space.”
Jonathan Berger, CEO of food-tech incubator The Kitchen added: “The mission of providing access to high-quality nutrition anytime, anywhere in a sustainable way is an increasing challenge for all humans.
“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.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019