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Astronauts Grow ‘Space Meat’ But Admit Taste ‘Needs to Be Improved'

CC0 / / International Space Station
International Space Station - Sputnik International
As global consumption of meat is projected to rise by 88 percent between 2010 and 2050 by the World Resources Institute, science is seeking less resource-intensive ways of producing it, with in vitro cultivation of animal cells offering a possible solution.

Israeli food startup Aleph Farms announced on 7 October that it had successfully grown meat in space.

“In a joint experiment on #InternationalSpaceStation, we successfully produced #cultivatedmeat regardless to the availability of land and local water resources. This is one milestone towards promising sustainable food anywhere!” the company said in its press release and an accompanying Twitter post.

​According to the company, its production method mimics the natural muscle-tissue regeneration inside the cow’s body.

The bovine cells were harvested on Earth, grown in space and assembled into small-scale muscle tissue under micro-gravity conditions thanks to a 3D printer developed by a Russian company, Bioprinting solutions.

The experiment was marketed as being about devising the astronauts’ food of the future.

“In space, we don’t have 10,000 or 15,000 Liter (3962.58 Gallon) of water available to produce one kilo of beef,” said Didier Toubia, Co-Founder and CEO of Aleph Farms.

However, there are other, more far-reaching goals of creating a sustainable food future for the growing world population.

There will be nearly three billion more mouths to feed in 2050 than there were in 2010, according to the World Resources Institute.

As incomes rise, people will increasingly consume more resource-intensive, animal-based foods, while there is an urgent call to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agricultural production.

Cultivated, slaughter-free meat produced by in vitro cultivation of animal cells is an ambitious solution to the challenges facing the planet in the future.

Earlier, Aleph Farms successfully produced a steak strip on earth in December, which took two weeks to grow from cells.
They admitted that they hope to improve the taste of the cultivated steak.

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