Tel Aviv–Aleph Farms is announcing two significant advances in the production of clean meat: expanding the composition of the meat itself and growing it in a more structured way.
Until now, clean meat – animal meat grown in a clean setting rather than in an animal – has often been limited to simple structures of one or two types of cell tissue, limiting its applications to ground meat.
“It has been a major hurdle to mimic meat’s many properties, such as texture, shape, juiciness, and flavor,” states Prof. Shulamit Levenberg, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Aleph Farms. “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.”
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. 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.
The world-class scientific team behind these innovations is headed by Professor Levenberg, Dean of the Bio-Medical Engineering Faculty at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, a top science and technology research institution. She earned her Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute and did her post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Scientific American named Levenberg one of the world’s 50 leading scientists for her groundbreaking interdisciplinary work in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Now, she’s using her expertise to advance clean meat.
“Consumers – especially millennials and flexitarians – care about animal welfare and the environment,” explains Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms. “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. “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,” he says. “Aleph Farms’ advantages are its strong R&D capabilities, academic collaborations, and experienced team. These give the company a significant leg up!”
Aleph Farms’ name reflects its roots and values of respect for the planet and its inhabitants. Aleph, the first letter of an ancient alphabet, was originally derived from a hieroglyph depicting an ox’s head. The letter gave rise to the Greek letter “Alpha,” a symbol of leadership and new beginnings.