A Hartbeespoort meat company, Mogale Meat Co. has successfully created its first cell-based chicken breast product, a first of its kind in Africa.
Mogale, a company founded by famed Hartbeespoort veterinarian Dr Paul Bartels, who was involved in cloning the first cow in South Africa, recently launched its first prototype chicken breast grown using cell technology.
Mogale presented the first prototype to the public at the end of March. The cultured chicken breast – made up of real chicken muscle and fat cells mixed with a fungus matrix – is the first of many prototypes Mogale is working on. Its first prototype of cultured wild animal meat will be unveiled later this year.
“Our next focus will be game meat, a variety of meats that are not only widely consumed in Africa, but also sought after as healthy lean meats in many countries around the world,” says Dr Bartel.
“Game meats are also the tastiest of the game meat family, due to the wide variety of species found in southern Africa. Cultured meat is destined to play an important role in the conservation of biodiversity and wildlife in Africa and beyond.
Bartels is a wildlife veterinarian with over 25 years of experience in biobanking, cell culture and assisted reproduction technologies.
The Mogale team is further working on the prototyping of a “single, modular, plug-and-play” production plant that will enable production of meat grown in specific locations, which will not only provide populations of all affordable and nutritious animal protein, but do so in a way that preserves the continent’s precious wildlife and biodiversity.
Mogale is a portfolio company of Cult Food Science Corp., an investment platform focused exclusively on cellular agriculture that provides a sustainable, environmental and ethical solution to the global factory farming and aquaculture crises.
Mogale has been working for the past eight months to produce Africa’s first chicken breast prototype using cultured meat technology to enter the $15 million global XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competition.
This new food technology is seen as a viable solution to the supply challenges caused by the current outbreak of avian influenza – also known as bird flu – in North America. The outbreak is the worst in seven years and is causing the price of eggs and poultry to rise significantly.
“Every outbreak of bird flu reminds us once again that cellular agriculture is the way of the future,” says Cult.
“Poultry and eggs, as well as other proteins and foods, produced in a controlled environment are much less likely to be susceptible to disease, viruses and harmful bacteria.”
“The company is dedicated to developing its own intellectual property to drive the evolution of cellular agriculture, as well as investing in promising companies to build its portfolio of beneficiary companies and foster communication between them.”
“The opportunities presented by technological advancements to enable Mogale to grow chicken more sustainably are incredible and will undoubtedly lead to a better future in Africa and the rest of the world,” said Lejjy Gafour, President of Culte.
“We are thrilled for Mogale Meat and its achievements so far, and hope it continues to flourish in the cellular agriculture industry and beyond,” he adds.
Mogale is focused on developing a vertically integrated food technology platform to make healthy and nutritious cell meat accessible to Africa’s rapidly growing population.