DOUGLAS, ISLE OF MAN — Agronomics, a leading alternative protein company focused on cellular agriculture, shared that its portfolio company Meatly reached a “significant” milestone in creating a protein-free, cultured medium at a low cost. 

Previously known as Good Dog Food, Meatly was founded in 2022 by Owen Ensor, chief executive officer, and Helder Cruz, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, and is backed by Agronomics. The company specializes in ethical and sustainable cultivated proteins that also provide pets with all essential nutrients. 

According to Agronomics, culture medium is essential in the production of sustainable, cultivated meat products, as it provides cells with the required nutrients to ensure in vitro viability and proliferation. Cultivated meat companies typically use fetal bovine serum (FBS) and albumin, which carry large price tags and can make the resulting cultivated meat ingredient expensive. The significant costs for such biomass, which can exceed hundreds of dollars per liter, according to Agronomics, represent a large hurdle for the cultivated meat industry as it seeks to further scale and supply food companies with more alternative proteins.  

Meatly has been able to decrease its costs of cultivated meat to £1 ($1.25 USD) per liter. To achieve this, the company has created a medium that does not contain any FBS, animal-derived ingredients, steroids, hormones, growth factors or antibiotics. Without relying on these ingredients, Meatly can produce its cultured medium at an industrial scale in a way that is economically viable. According to the company, it believes further cost reductions are possible with higher volumes of product purchased. 

“Our protein-free culture medium represents a critical milestone for us and the wider cultivated meat industry,” Cruz said. “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 and is a huge step forward in scaling our technology and making our products available to pet owners at an affordable price and on a commercial scale.”

Omni's new cultivated canned cat food made with Meatly's alternative protein

Meatly’s cruelty-free, cultivated chicken ingredient will make an appearance in Omni’s sustainable cat food formula.

| Source: Omni

Meatly recently used its cultivated protein medium to create the “world’s first” cultivated, canned cat food developed in partnership with Omni. The cat food is expected to launch in the United Kingdom later this year. 

“Meatly’s creation of the very first protein-free medium establishes the company as a true technological leader within its field,” said Jim Mellon, founder of Agronomics. “Medium 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 product to my dogs.”

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