ISRAEL – Israeli cell-based meat producer Aleph Farms is yet again raising the bar for cell-based meat with the launch of what it describes as the world’s first slaughter-free ribeye steak.

To develop the new cell-based meat, Aleph Farms partnered with biomedical engineering researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

Aleph Farms says that together with the Techion researchers, it used its 3D bioprinting technology that combines cell cultivation and 3D printing create the ribeye steak.

The technology involves printing living cells into a shape and then incubating then to grow, interact and differentiate.

This allows the cell-based meat to take on more of the characteristics of a conventional steak, according to the company.

Aleph Farms from an early stage has been a trend setter in the cell-based meat industry.

In 2018, the company produced the first cell-grown minute steak, claiming to deliver “the full experience of meat with the appearance, shape and texture of beef cuts.”

In 2019, it partnered with Russia’s 3D Bioprinting Solutions to create cell-based beef on the International Space Station, showing that cell-based meat could be a viable food source for long-haul space missions.

And in December, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu became the first head of state to try cell-based meat after tasting a steak from Aleph Farms.

A thick cell-based steak with ribbons of fat is yet another first from the company.

While other cell-based meat startups may be able to produce similar products in their R&D facilities, Aleph Farms has shared an image of what looks like a conventional steak from a cow — proclaiming that this technology is real and viable.

Aleph Farms isn’t the only cell-based meat provider that is using 3D bioprinting.

Its partner 3D Bioprinting Solutions announced last summer it would be creating 3D printed cell- and plant-based chicken nuggets for Russia’s KFC franchises.

Meat-Tech 3D, another Israeli company, is also using 3D printing to make cell-based meat, with the goal of supplying other manufacturers.

And last month, Spain’s Novameat, which had previously been known for 3D printing meat analogues, printed what it called the world’s biggest cut of cultivated meat.

Other cell-based meat companies are getting close to having marketable products.

Future Meat Technologies, which is also based in Israel, announced last week that it could produce a cell-based chicken breast for US$7.50.

With technology advancing — as well as regulatory approval potentially moving forward and investments from venture capitalists and Big Food — product potential is moving forward.

 Strategy and management consulting firm Kearney predicted that by 2040, 35% of all meat consumed worldwide will be cell-based.

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