SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa, the birth place of food innovations in Africa, has welcomed the launch of the region’s first cell-cultured chicken produced by Mogale Meat, a cellular food-tech company.
The product development follows 8 months of Mogale Meat, tirelessly working with cutting-edge scientific research and innovation to produce Africa’s first chicken breast prototype to be availed at the global XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competition with US$15million up for grabs.
Mogale Meat’s main focus is on being a cultivated game meat company, but the company decided on chicken for the competition to the alternative fish, as this is not only the most popular meat in Africa but the most widely eaten meat worldwide.
It is undertaking the project in collaboration with Biotechnology and Food Science, Tshwane University of Technology and the School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
They are the only semi-finalist team, of 31 teams, from the continent of Africa for this prestigious competition.
The cultivated chicken breast, composed of real chicken muscle and fat cells blended with a mushroom matrix, is the first prototype Mogale Meat will showcase.
A signature wildlife meat product will be revealed later in the year as it is continuing to develop cultivated meat from free-roaming livestock and wildlife such as cattle, and antelope.
These new innovations are raising the bar for alternative meats scene in the region, as Africa’s first cultivated meat start-up, Mzansi, recently announced that it is set to unveil its first beef burger made with lab-grown meat.
Mogale Meat raises the bar of innovation
Mogale Meat is extremely excited to be at the forefront of food science and innovation on a global scale as it affirms its efforts of striving to improve the health, socio-economic and environmental impact of consumer meat products, one meal at a time.
Cultivated meat is a potential game-changer for the planet, and more specifically for Africa’s biodiversity and wildlife conservation.
Dr Paul Bartels a wildlife veterinarian, and the Founder and CEO of Mogale Meat says, “Mogale Meat Co is raising the bar by developing BestByNature food technology that will not only impact the way people view and eat healthy game meat, but also do so by supporting the economic and social wellbeing of the wildlife industry, National Parks and the communities living with wildlife.”
With the expanding population in Africa, which is expected to double in the next 30 years, demand for affordable and nutritious food will rapidly outstripping supply.
Lab-grown meat has the promise to address food security and add nutritional value without further high-impact agricultural practices that are having devastating effects on Africa’s biodiversity and wildlife.
“Less land has to be ploughed to feed animals in feedlots, less water is required and most importantly wildlife and the incredible biodiversity we have in Africa can be conserved by transitioning to cultured meat production,” highlighted Mogale.
The team is currently working on prototyping a unique modular plug-and-play concept production plant that will allow cultivated meat to be made where the people are.
This will not only provide the people across the continent of Africa with affordable and nutritional animal protein but do so in a way that conserves Africa’s precious wildlife and biodiversity.
The biggest challenge Mogale Meat and other cultivated meat companies are currently facing is firstly bringing down the cost to manufacture the meat at scale, and secondly paving the way for regulatory approval.
Although cultivated meat is real meat, it does require policies surrounding food safety, production, as well as trade to be updated to include cell-cultured meat that is produced without the conventional way of slaughtering live animals.