Israeli food-tech startup Aleph Farms launches ‘Aleph Zero’ program to cultivate steaks on Mars

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Israel-based foodtech startup Aleph Farms Ltd. – a food company that grows cultivated beef steaks, has launched ‘Aleph Zero’, a new food production initiative to take 3D meat printing on an extraterrestrial mission to Mars.

Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, explains, “‘Aleph Zero’ represents the mathematical symbol of the smallest infinite number, and how Aleph Farms brings space infinity closer by supporting deep-space exploration and colonisation of new planets. The term also represents the company’s vision for producing meat with near-zero natural resources.”

The initiative aims to advance food security by producing fresh quality meat even in the harshest and remote extraterrestrial environments, such as space.

To achieve this goal, Aleph Farms is securing strategic partnerships with technology companies and space agencies for long term collaborative R&D contracts, that will ensure the integration of Aleph Farms’ innovations into leading space programs.

About Aleph Farms

Aleph Farms is a food company that was co-founded in 2017 by ‘The Kitchen Hub’ of the Strauss Group and with Professor Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

The food company is working towards a sustainable food ecosystem. It wants to grow real beef steaks from non-genetically engineered cells, isolated from a living animal – using a fraction of the resources required for raising an entire animal for meat, and without antibiotics.

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The slaughter-free meat experiment in space

The initiative to produce meat on the International Space Station (ISS) comes a year after Aleph’s international collaboration with 3D Bioprinting Solutions (Russia), Meal Source Technologies (USA), and Finless Foods (USA).

3D Bioprinting develops and produces bioprinters and materials for 3D bioprinting, and develops innovative technologies in the field of biofabrication.

In October 2019, Aleph Farms had announced that it has been successful in producing meat on the International Space Station, 248 miles (339 km) away from any natural resources.

This proof-of-concept marked a historic milestone in sustainable food production, proving that meat from various types of cow cells could be cultivated under micro-gravity and far from any natural resources.

Toubia noticed, that “The constraints imposed by deep-space-exploration – the cold, thin environment, and the circular approach – force us to tighten the efficiency of our meat production process to much higher sustainability standards.” 

He further added, “The program ‘Aleph Zero’ reflects our mission of producing quality, delicious meat locally where people live and consume it, even in the most remote places on Earth like the Sahara Desert or Antarctica. Providing unconditional access to high-quality nutrition to anyone, anytime, anywhere.”

Pilot production

As the company establishes its operations for Earth’s mass-market together with agri-food partners in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, it will be transitioning its products to pilot production next year (2021) as well as build its first BioFarm.

The company’s pilot commercial launch is planned by the end of 2022.

Aleph Farms is backed by food producers such as Cargill, Migros, and the Strauss Group. It has recently received top accolades for its contribution to the global sustainability movement from the World Economic Forum, UNESCO, Netexplo Forum, and EIT Food.

In May 2019, the company had raised $12M (approx €10.1M) in its Series A round of funding.

Image credit: Alpha Farms

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The editorial team of Silicon Canals brings you technology news from the European startup ecosystem. 

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