REHOVOT, Israel — Aleph Farms Ltd., an Israeli start-up that grows meat cuts directly from cattle cells, announced on Oct. 7 that it finished its latest out-of-this-world meat experiment.

The company completed its first slaughter-free meat experiment last week on the International Space Station. Small scale muscle tissue from bovine cells was grown with assistance from Russian company 3D Bioprinting Solutions.

Other collaborators on the project included US-based companies Meal Source Technologies and Finless Foods.

“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,” said Didier Toubia, co-founder and CEO of Aleph Farms.

The company said its production method of making slaughter-free beef steaks relies on mimicking a natural process of muscle-tissue regeneration occurring inside the cow’s body but under controlled conditions.

Co-founded by The Kitchen in 2017, Aleph Farms grow meat directly from beef cells using a 3D tissue engineering platform. Aleph Farms discovered a way to isolate the cells responsible for that process and grow them outside the animal to form the same muscle tissue typical to steaks.

Aleph Farms released its prototype in December 2018, demonstrating the company could grow steak directly from bovine cells. The new investment will allow Aleph Farms to transform this prototype into a commercial product that will grow in bio-farm facilities similar to dairy facilities. The company plans to begin building these farms within three to five years.

The company wants to address concerns including sustainability of meat production, antibiotics resistance and foodborne illnesses with slaughter-free meat. Aleph seeks to provide new tools to feed the growing world population without harming animals.

In May, Aleph received a $12 million Series A investment from several companies, including Cargill Protein and Strauss Group. 

“The mission of providing access to high-quality nutrition anytime, anywhere in a sustainable way is an increasing challenge for all humans,” adds Jonathan Berger, CEO of The Kitchen. “On Earth or up above, we count on innovators like Aleph Farms to take the initiative to provide solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, such as the climate crisis.”