Throw another 'cultured' chop on the barbie

Throw another 'cultured' chop on the barbie

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LAB CHOPS: A Melbourne start up company says it wants to be the world's first to produce lamb products from cultures. Picture: Magic Valley.

LAB CHOPS: A Melbourne start up company says it wants to be the world's first to produce lamb products from cultures. Picture: Magic Valley.

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A Melbourne start-up company is aiming to be the first in the world to make lamb chops in a laboratory.

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A Melbourne start-up company is aiming to be the first in the world to make lamb chops in a laboratory.

Magic Valley wants investors to back its plan to grow cultured meat from sheep cells and create products for sale.

Founder Paul Bevan, a former Senate candidate in Queensland for the Animal Justice Party, hopes to have cultured lamb products including mince, strips, steaks and chops on the shelves in the next few years.

There are many companies working globally to manufacture cultured meat for sale but most are focused on beef, chicken and fish.

Mr Bevan says lamb was an untapped area of the cultured meat market.

MORE READING: Company plans to make steaks from human cells.

"Given Australia's excellent reputation for food safety, security and producing quality sheep, lamb was the obvious choice for the company's first product range," Mr Bevan said.

He said Magic Valley was aiming to provide Australians with a "slaughter-free alternative to factory-farmed lamb".

Describing himself as a passionate vegan, Mr Bevan said Magic Valley was supported by "a team of leading scientists" with extensive experience in both stem cell biology and livestock production.

As it aims to make products from animal cultures, Magic Valley's planned offerings would not be considered vegan.

Magic Valley's Paul Bevan.

Magic Valley's Paul Bevan.

Mr Bevan says cultured meat is produced from a small sample of animal cells which are grown in a nutrient-rich culture medium where they can easily multiply and expand in order to create real meat products.

"Magic Valley is currently raising a seed round from investors to complete their prototype development with the first products expected to be available on shelves in the next 1-2 years."

Mr Bevan said the company was already planning to expand throughout China, greater Asia, the US and the Middle East.

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