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Magic Valley is creating Australia’s first cultivated lamb free of animal components

In an Australian scientific first, the local innovators at Magic Valley have created a cultivated lamb meat prototype, completely free from animal byproducts. The scientific milestone comes at a time when more than a third of Australians are considering new ways to reduce their animal intake.

The team of highly qualified scientists at Magic Valley are successfully working towards transforming the future of large-scale protein production and removing animals from the supply chain.

Their prototype – initially created in the form of burgers and tacos – looks and cooks just like real lamb yet has the potential for an even healthier nutritional profile, showcasing what is possible for the future of cultivated meat products.

To create the prototype, a small skin biopsy was taken from Lucy the lamb, who is happily residing in a field in New South Wales. The cells from Lucy were then grown in Magic Valley’s Melbourne lab where they are made into cultivated meat products.

The process used by Magic Valley takes the skin cells and turns them into stem cells called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The iPS cells can grow in an unlimited and scalable way and can also be made into muscle and fat – the main components of meat. This is the first time, anywhere in the world, this technology has been used to make a cultivated lamb product.

Many other businesses in the cultivated meat industry rely on the use of foetal bovine serum – a byproduct of the slaughter process – to grow the cells, Magic Valley’s breakthrough technology means animals are not used anymore, other than the initial skin scraping.

In just 18 years, it is predicted that cultivated meat will comprise more than a third of the $1.8 trillion global meat market2, and while talks of alternative meats have been bubbling away under the surface for some time now, Magic Valley’s prototype has broken the mould of possibility.

The positive impacts cultivated meats can have not only have the potential to save over 70 billion animals per year, but also lays the groundwork for a more environmentally sustainable future by significantly reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by 92 per cent.

“By 2024, cultivated meat products will be indistinguishable from traditionally farmed meat, with the ability to enhance nutrients to positively impact the human population,” said founder and CEO Paul Bevan.

“With the global population predicted to reach 10 billion people by 2050, the traditional methods of animal agriculture are simply inadequate to meet the protein needs of our future generations.

“The move away from traditional meat consumption is motivated by many different reasons for Australians, but the science has shown that if we are not feeding livestock and instead feeding ourselves, this is a viable way to nourish the human population beyond 2050.”

Magic Valley is now looking to scale up its abilities after the success of its prototype, with a $5m seed capital raise ahead.

This funding will help realise Magic Valley’s plans to create beef and pork prototypes and work with like-minded companies on its production to get its range of products regulated by 2024. This means tacos, burgers, ragu and more on the way to Australian dinner tables by 2024, with no animal interaction after the first skin scraping of Lucy and friends.

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