Today, Aleph Farms announced a platform for the commercial production of its cultivated beef steak. The company says this platform will allow it to eventually produce meat grown from cells of a living cow affordably at scale, putting its cultivated steak at price parity with factory farmed meat.
The new production process is the first part of a phased build-out of what Aleph Farms is calling its BioFarm, a pilot plant the company intends to have fully operational by 2022.
“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,” said Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms, in today’s press release. “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.”
The company has created a prototype of beef steak produced through its new commercial production platform and will debut it via a virtual cooking demonstration at the Agri-Food Innovation Summit on November 20th.
With its new process, Aleph says it is trying to emulate the tissue regeneration process of meat produced through traditional animal farming, only outside of the animal’s body and under controlled conditions. The company also is growing whole meat (rather than minced) by using a plant-based matrix that mimics that extra-cellular matrix founds in animals.
This announcement is another indication of how the cultivated meat market is transitioning into a new phase as companies like Aleph and Matrix Meats lay the groundwork for a more scaled production of cultivated meat produced from animal cells. This development of lower-cost production is a necessary step if lab-grown meat is to ever to become a widely consumed alternative to traditional, animal-farmed meat products.
While some skeptics like Pat Brown say that these companies will never be able to get production to the point where prices will be at parity with traditional meat, others, like Josh Tetrick, say that day will definitely come, even if it takes us a decade or more before we’re buying a piece of cultivated meat at the local fast food joint.
And with today’s news by Aleph, it looks like we may have taken another step forward towards into a more sustainable, alt-protein future.