Start-up in Switzerland, Mirai Foods has made a technological breakthrough in producing thick, tender steaks. The company has created “Fibration Technology,” which enables the effective growth of tissue that resembles traditional meat, culminating in the “world’s first produced tenderloin steak.”
“Other types of meat can already be produced in the lab,” Christoph Mayr, CEO and co-founder of Mirai Foods, said. “A fillet steak is an ultimate challenge: it consists of different cell types, which — if combined correctly — result in a complex meat structure,” Mayr says.
“This structuring process is technologically challenging, making producing steaks extremely difficult. That’s why Mirai Foods is taking an important step towards sustainable meat with the first cultivated beef tenderloin steak.”
The steak was produced in “The Rocket,” Mirai Foods’ in-house created bioreactor. According to Mirai, the steak is formed from long, entirely matured cultured muscle fibers that are subsequently mixed by enzymes and complemented with cultivated fat tissue. Mirai says the procedure takes five days in a bioreactor, resulting in “a tenderloin centerpiece from which steaks of nearly any thickness can be cut.”
“We have filed three international patents for this key technology,” Suman Das, CSO and co-founder of Mirai Foods, said.
“We can deliver a real alternative to conventional meat: Using our technology; one can prepare and eat a real steak — and know that no animal had to die for it and the climate is not harmed. Nutrition is a huge lever for greater climate protection and animal welfare: demand for meat is expected to double by 2050; conventional meat production methods cannot meet this demand at all, and certainly not sustainably.”
Mirai is expanding on the industry’s growing efforts to cultivate whole pieces of meat; so far, the bulk of products have resembled mince for use in burgers and nuggets.
According to Mirai, it is also one of just a few cultured meat companies in the world capable of producing meat without the use of genetic engineering — a contested technology best recognized for its association with seeds modified to withstand severe herbicide applications. GMOs are strictly regulated in the EU, and Mirai claims that the absence of technology in their meat is due to user preferences.
Mirai Foods’ tenderloin launch aligns with the addition of Zurich-based food and meat producer Angst AG and many additional investors. Angst AG is planned to incorporate Mirai’s produced meat into its product line once the technology has received regulatory certification.