For the first time, a food technology company has created meat in space and what is more amusing is that they did it without harming any animal. Aleph Farms, which is an Israeli food company, has made “space beef” in the International Space Station (ISS), 248 miles (339 kilometres) away from any natural resources.
The company works on growing cultivated beef steaks, or an entire piece of real, edible meat out of just a couple of cells in a lab. In this case, it was bovine cell spheroids, which were harvested on our planet and then they were taken to ISS where they were grown into small-scale muscle tissue with the help of a 3D bioprinter, according to a report by Space.com.
The production involved growing of meat by mimicking a natural process of muscle-tissue regeneration occurring inside the cow’s body. For the experiment, the company had collaborated with 3D Bioprinting Solutions, a Russian firm and two US-based food companies.
The team established a proof of concept on September 26 when the astronauts who were performing the test were able to produce a small piece of muscle tissue of cow on the ISS. the experiment was done inside a 3D bioprinter which was developed by the 3D Bioprinting Solutions.
Bioprinting is a process wherein biomaterials such as animal cells are mixed with the growth factors and material “bioink” and then it is printed into a layered structure. In this experiment, the structure was a piece of muscle tissue.
The efforts of Aleph Farms for producing “slaughter-free meat in space” is described to be due to climate change, the report said citing a press release by the firm. The company has made a video explaining the same. As noted in the 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special report, Animal farming because of its requirement for huge amounts of water and energy contributes significantly to climate change.
“Our planet is on fire and we have no other one today. Our primary goal is to make sure it remains the same blue planet we know also with our next generations,” Yoav Reisler, an external relations manager at Aleph Farms, told Space.com.
“In space, we don’t have 10,000 or 15,000 Liter (3962.58 Gallon) of water available to produce one Kg (2.205 Pound) of beef,” the report said quoting Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms from the release. “This joint experiment marks a significant first step toward achieving our vision to ensure food security for generations to come, while preserving our natural resources.”