Coming to a plate near you - world's first lab-grown steak is served
The first lab-grown steak will be available to buy in two years after scientists finally produced meat with the correct appearance, shape and texture of a real slice of beef.
Up to now, researchers have produced small amounts of cell-grown meat, which have been mixed together to create hamburgers and sausages, but making an entire steak has proved elusive.
Now Israeli food technology company Aleph Farms has announced it has succeeded in using natural beef cells to grow the three-dimensional structure of a minute steak which mimics the muscle and tissue of real meat.
The company eventually wants to sell "slaughter-free steak" which will not require huge amounts of land, water, feed and antibiotics for cattle.
"Making a patty or a sausage from cells cultured outside the animal is challenging enough, imagine how difficult it is to create a whole-muscle steak," said Didier Toubia, co-founder and chief executive of Aleph Farms.
"We've successfully produced the first pieces of beef steak, grown from natural cells without harming any animals.
"Meat is a complex tissue. This breakthrough involves various cell types found in conventional cuts of meat, grown together outside the animal to create a 3D similar to meat, but using more safe, sustainable and ethical methods.
"We've transformed the vision into reality by growing a steak under controlled conditions. The initial products are still relatively thin, but the technology we developed marks a true breakthrough and a great leap forward in producing a cell-grown steak."