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FOOD & BEVERAGES | Meat, Fish, Seafood & Alternative Proteins
aleph-farms.com

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Founded Year

2017

Stage

Angel | Alive

Total Raised

$118M

About Aleph Farms

Aleph Farms is a food-tech startup specializing in high-quality, sustainable, and cell-grown meat. Aleph's 3D technology uses the four core cell types of farmed beef to recreate a real food experience.

Aleph Farms Headquarter Location

10 Plaut Street

Rehovot, 7670609,

Israel

Latest Aleph Farms News

Mosa Meat eliminates fetal bovine serum from the cultivated meat equation

Jan 17, 2022

17 Jan 2022 --- Pioneering cell-based player Mosa Meat has published a peer-reviewed paper revealing how it achieves muscle differentiation in cultured meat without the use of fetal bovine serum (FBS) and without genetically modifying the cells in any way. FBS has conventionally been used in cultured meat production as a supplement for cell feed – also known as cell culture media – due to its richness in nutrients and growth factors. In 2019, Mosa Meat successfully removed fetal bovine serum and other animal components from its entire process. However, this solution has been flagged as unsustainable, unethical and not scalable, due to its process of being harvested from the blood of fetuses taken from pregnant cows slaughtered in meat or dairy supply chains. “Our cell feed uses non-animal components or ingredients to stimulate differentiation of the cells into muscle,” Maarten Bosch, CEO of Mosa Meat, tells FoodIngredientsFirst. “Although the decision to publish this information could be seen as competitively sensitive, we highly value openness and transparency for the advancement of the entire cellular agriculture field.” Growth medium proteins are not widely available in the market today and represent one of the most prohibitive expenses in scaling up cultivated meat.“We studied the natural growth process extensively (including with RNA sequencing) and discovered which ingredients to use in which step to enable cells to become muscle fibers without FBS,” he details. When is cultured meat truly slaughter-free? In 2019, Mosa Meat shared a significant milestone with industry – successfully removing FBS and other animal components from its entire process. The company’s newly published paper in Nature Food includes descriptions of processes and differentiation medium ingredients that have worked well in its cultivation process. In the paper, Mosa Meat’s researchers describe changes that occur to stem cells when they turn into muscle through a process known as serum-starvation, a process of abruptly reducing FBS in the cell feed. Muscle cells differentiating into fibers are responsible for the structure and chew of meat, and within muscle fibers the proteins and rich color of meat are produced. “We were particularly interested in proteins on the surface of cells that increase during differentiation. By specifically activating these proteins (known as ‘receptors’), we are now able to recreate the same transition in the absence of any fetal bovine serum,” explains Tobias Messmer, first author and PhD candidate at Mosa Meat. Using a method called RNA sequencing, the researchers can study the changes in gene expression that the cells undergo when they differentiate into muscle. “This is really a milestone for us and for the cultivated meat field, because there’s no method out there that describes the differentiation of primary satellite cells if you don’t want to use fetal bovine serum or genetically modify your cells,” remarks Mosa Meat scientist and corresponding author on the publication, Dr. Joshua Flack. Proprietary but accessible Bosch shares that the company doesn’t have any growth medium cost numbers to share with its recent announcement, because its article is a scientific proof of principle, not a commercial one. “The described medium formulation is used in our R&D setting which is not representative of cost structure in scaled production,” he notes. “We are constantly bringing the costs down.” The continued use of fetal bovine serum in cultured meat production would arguably pose an ethical dilemma for adherents of the halal and kosher diets.Mosa Meat has filed a patent for its cell feed formulation, meaning it is publicly available but protected for commercial use for a limited amount of years. The absence of fetal bovine serum was part of the company’s latest funding round agreements as a hard requirement, signed by all participating shareholders. “We highly value openness and transparency for the advancement of the entire cellular agriculture field,” says Bosch. “Academic researchers are free to use this methodology, and we look forward to sharing more peer-reviewed work in the future.” Addressing a prohibitive expense Growth medium proteins are not widely available in the market today and represent one of the most prohibitive expenses in scaling up cultivated meat. And while this is a key consideration, curbing the cell-based industry’s reliance on fetal bovine serum is pivotal to its “cleaner meat” philosophy. In a study published in Biochemical Engineering Journal, Liz Specht, senior scientist at the Good Food Institute, estimates that a standard 20,000 liter batch of cells cultured using fetal bovine serum, would yield between 1,800 and 4,500 kg of meat. Over recent months, early movers in the cell-based arena have been ramping up investments in the science of fetal bovine serum substitution. For instance, Aleph Farms partnered with protein tech supplier Wacker last December to develop new fermentation-based growth medium proteins . The continued use of fetal bovine serum in cultured meat production would arguably pose an ethical dilemma for adherents of the halal and kosher diets. “There doesn’t seem to be broad consensus yet, as the exact processes of different companies are still under development,” comments Bosch. In a recent interview , FoodIngredientsFirst spoke with Israel-based start-ups Aleph Farms and SuperMeat, as well as experts from the UK’s United Synagogue and the Islamic Chamber of Halal Certification Services (ICHCS) about how modern cultivation can be reconciled with ancient traditions and rituals. By Benjamin Ferrer

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Research containing Aleph Farms

Get data-driven expert analysis from the CB Insights Intelligence Unit.

CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Aleph Farms in 4 CB Insights research briefs, most recently on Aug 9, 2021.

Expert Collections containing Aleph Farms

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Aleph Farms is included in 3 Expert Collections, including Agriculture Technology (Agtech).

A

Agriculture Technology (Agtech)

1,752 items

Companies that are using technology to make farms more efficient.

F

Food & Beverage

2,683 items

A

Alternative Proteins Startups

329 items

This Collection includes B2B and B2C companies developing alternatives to animal-derived proteins, including plant-based meat, dairy alternatives, lab-grown or cultured meat, and fermented proteins.

Aleph Farms Patents

Aleph Farms has filed 2 patents.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Biotechnology
  • Meat
  • Animal rights
patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Status

11/14/2019

Meat, Cell culture, Biotechnology, Meat industry, Animal rights

Application

Application Date

11/14/2019

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Meat, Cell culture, Biotechnology, Meat industry, Animal rights

Status

Application

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