Magic Valley’s Cultivated Pork Impresses with “Indistinguishable” Flavor at Tasting Event – vegconomist

Australian firm Magic Valley, a cultivated meat company at the forefront of scalable solutions, debuted a new product —cultivated pork bao buns — at a recent tasting at John Gorilla Café in Brunswick.

The event brought together a wide range of attendees from different industries, all intrigued by future technology, advancements in food technology, and the alternative protein sector, according to the announcement.

Magic Valley claims to have developed a scalable platform for growing beef, lamb, and pork without fetal bovine serum using iPSC (induced pluripotent stem cell) technology. This tech allows cells to grow indefinitely to create unlimited quantities of meat.

On the right track

However, while producing volumes to stay competitive in the food industry is essential, Magic Valley’s primary goal is to replicate the authentic taste of traditional meat to appeal to consumers. The positive response at the tasting event suggests it’s on the right track, said Magic Valley.

Jessica Freitag, Advocacy & Communications at Cellular Agriculture Australia, shared: “This week I ate meat for the first time in five years – all thanks to the incredible work being done at Magic Valley.” The products truly were “indistinguishable” from what I remember traditional meat products to taste like (a sentiment echoed by the meat-eaters sitting next to me).”  

Emma Coath, MD of Rocket Seeder, said, “I was very lucky to taste Magic Valley lamb and pork last night — it was delicious! It was also great to see the reactions from people who haven’t eaten meat for many years.”

A girl tasting cultivated pork
Image courtesy of Magic Valley

Slaughter-free meat’s recipe

Wendy Chua, Magic Valley’s Senior Research Assistant, designed the recipe for the cultivated pork bao buns to enhance the rich, umami, and savory taste of the pork mince. She shared, “In allowing the incredible taste of the cultivated pork mince that we are incredibly proud of to take center stage, we can truly showcase the potential of this technology.”

In March 2023, the Australian firm gained attention for introducing its cultivated pork mince in dumplings, following its milestone of developing animal-free cultivated lamb from iPSC in 2022.

“Honestly, the flavours were so rich and authentic”

On its path to growth, the company announced last year plans to expand its operations to a new pilot facility at Co-Labs in Melbourne to increase production capacity to 3,000 L bioreactors and reach 150,000 kg of product annually. Additionally, it has partnered with Biocellion SPC to drive advancements in bioreactor technology and lower production costs.

Eleanor Bignell, Operations & Strategy at OK200 Software & Apps, expressed her excitement, “Honestly, the flavours were so rich and authentic, they could easily rival traditional meat … I’m excited about what this means for the future of food: delicious, ethical, and sustainable.”  

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