Scientists create first lab-grown, slaughter-free steak
Scientists in Israel revealed that they’ve developed the first test tube steak, which is completely slaughter-free.
While researchers with Aleph Farms said the taste still needs a bit of refining, it’s still the first type of lab-grown meat that also has the distinct muscle-like texture of conventional meat.
“It was a little bit chewy, same as meat,” Aleph’s CEO and founder Didier Toubia told Business Insider. “We saw and felt fibers when we cut it with the a knife.”
The steak was produced using a mixture of cells grown outside the animal in a 3D structure resembling a typical sirloin. The process was completed without the antibiotics, environmental footprint, contamination and animal slaughter which comes with conventional meat production.
“It’s finally a meat you can enjoy that’s good for your health and the planet," said Aleph Chef Amir Ilan.
It’s still a few years away from hitting stores and restaurants, Toubia said, adding that there is still more work ahead to ensure the product is exactly like meat. But that’s not the only roadblock ahead for cell-cultured meats.
As scientists get closer to perfecting their products, regulators will have to consider how such meats will be labeled and marketed. For now though, the market faces a regulatory uncertainty.
There are no shortage of companies peddling plant-based burgers to the public while tech startups are striving to similarly develop test tube meat product — but none have announced success in developing a texture that carnivores will know and love.
It’s much easier, Toubia noted, to create products like burgers and meatballs that are ground up and contain additional ingredients.
“Making a patty or sausage from cells cultured outside and animal is challenging enough — imagine how difficult it is to create a whole muscle-steak,” he said in a statement.
“At Aleph farms this is not science fiction. We’ve transformed the vision into a reality by growing a steak under controlled conditions.”