The Israeli cell-based meat producer is backed by food producers, including Cargill, Migros, and the Strauss Group
Cell-based meat producer Aleph Farms says it is moving its thin-cut beef steaks product onto a proprietary platform suitable for mass cultivation. Rehovot, Israel-based Aleph Farms said its steaks, grown directly from non-GMO cells of a living cow, have the nutritional, culinary, and sensory attributes of meat in terms of texture, flavour, and aroma.
The company added it has developed five proprietary modules for its mass production platform, which it claims will bring the product to cost parity with conventional meat at scale.
The prototype of its commercial product will be unveiled at the Asia-Pacific Agri-Food Innovation Summit in Singapore on Friday.
The company stated it has beefed-up its proof-of-concept released in 2018, increased the size of its slaughter-free product, and adapted it to fit controlled, automated bioprocesses to ensure economic viability in large-scale production. It is also transitioning its commercial products to a pilot plant named BioFarm, planned to launch at the end of 2022.
Didier Toubia, co-founder and chief executive of Aleph Farms, said: “One of the big challenges of cultivated meat is the ability to produce large quantities efficiently at a cost that can compete with conventional meat industry pricing, without compromising on quality. We have developed five technological building blocks unique to Aleph Farms that are put into a large-scale production process, all patented by the company.”
Aleph Farms said its platform for cultivating steaks effectively mirrors the natural process of tissue regeneration processes that occur in the animal’s body, but outside of it and under controlled conditions. The process is designed to use a fraction of the resources required for raising an entire animal for meat, and without antibiotics.
To grow whole pieces of meat successfully, compared to minced meat product, the company mimics the extra-cellular matrix found in animals with a plant-based matrix that enables the cells to grow and form structured tissues of meat. Its ‘cell-banks’ yield an unlimited source of pluripotent, non-GMO cow cells for growing large quantities of meat without the dependency on living animals.
Aleph Farms said it has designed patented tissue cultivators to facilitate the biological process occurring in vivo, providing the warmth and basic animal-free elements needed to build tissue in nature. This includes water, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
The company added that it has perfected the structure of its product so it embodies the familiar texture, taste, cooking behaviour, as well nutritional qualities of conventional slaughter-based steaks.
The company’s resident chef Amir Ilan said: “Aleph Farms is establishing a new category of meat, imbued with its own culture and a new world of meaty experiences.”
Toubia added: “It’s not enough to just make a protein that will fill the nutritional gap; we need to capture the fullness of the meat-eating experience.”
Aleph Farms is backed by food producers, including Cargill, Migros, and the Strauss Group, and raised a $12 million in a Series-A investment round in May last year.
The company was co-founded with The Kitchen Hub of the Strauss Group and with Professor Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
Date published: 18 November 2020