Meatly unveils £1 per litre protein-free culture medium

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Chief scientific officer Helder Cruz and CEO Owen Ensor. Credit: Jack Lawson / Meatly
Chief scientific officer Helder Cruz and CEO Owen Ensor. Credit: Jack Lawson / Meatly

Related tags cultured meat

Cultivated meat company Meatly has announced the development of a protein-free culture medium, which it states is “the first of its kind in the cultivated meat industry”.

A culture medium is the mix of nutrients used by companies in the cultivated meat industry to grow animal cells.

Founded in 2022, Meatly is currently focused on manufacturing cultivated meat products for the pet food market and believes its new culture medium marks a “significant step forward”​ in the bid to enable animal-free, cost-effective cultivated meat production.

The medium costs £1 per litre to create and could be brought down further at scale. Meanwhile, it contains no serum, animal-derived components, steroids, hormones, growth factors or antibiotics, and it is used in their suspension culture bioreactors without micro-carriers.

Last month, Meatly announced the production of the world’s first cultivated pet food. It aims to sell its products in the UK this year, becoming the first company to sell cultivated meat in Europe.

To date, the firm has raised £3.6m in capital and is gearing up for the release of its product in the coming months.

Commenting on the news, Meatly co-founder and chief scientific officer Helder Cruz said: "Our protein-free culture medium represents a critical milestone for us and the wider cultivated meat industry. By setting this new benchmark, we are driving the cost of production down significantly, which is something the industry has been grappling with for years. It is a huge step forward in scaling our technology and making our products available to pet owners on a commercial scale and at an affordable price.”

The founder of Agronomics, an investor in Meatly, Jim Mellon added: “Meatly’s creation of the very first protein-free medium establishes the company as a true technological leader within its field. Media accounts for the majority of the costs involved in the production of cultivated meat and Meatly has single-handedly slashed those costs a hundredfold or more. This is a huge step forward in bringing the cost of cultivated meat to price-parity with conventional meat and, ultimately, toward the mass adoption of cultivated products.

“The company expects to shortly receive regulatory approval, and I am excited to feed their delicious products to my dogs.”

In other news, Vegan Food Group CEO Dave Sparrow discusses the firm’s mission to lead the plant-based category and put an end to intensive farming practices.

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