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Cell-based meat start-up Mogale Meat showcases first cultivated chicken made in Africa

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
A plate of cultured chicken meat

South African cultured meat start-up Mogale Meat has revealed it has successfully created the first cell-based chicken on the continent, following 18 months of R&D work.

The cultivated chicken breast combines muscle and fat cells from real chickens with a mushroom matrix, which the cells can attach to and grow.

The start-up’s product featured as an entry in the XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competition. Mogale Meat was the only semi-finalist out of 31 participants to come out of Africa.

As part of the XPRIZE competition, Mogale Meat chose to develop lab-grown chicken due to the meat being the most consumed both across Africa and around the world.

The company is currently preparing to scale up production as it starts to develop a prototype for a new production plant.

Dr Paul Bartels, a wildlife veterinarian, and 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.”

While the start-up’s first major breakthrough is with cultivated chicken, its main goal is to develop cell-based game meat. By using the cells of antelope and cattle, it hopes it can maintain biodiversity and “conserve Africa’s wildlife heritage”.

Following 18 months of research, the cultivated game is expected to make its debut towards the latter half of 2022.

Mogale Meat is partnered with South Africa’s the MeatOurFuture project, the Department of Biotechnology and Food Science at Tshwane University of Technology, and the School of Life Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Cell-based meat production is growing at a fast pace in South Africa. In March 2022, Mzansi Meat announced its plans to unveil the first cultivated beef burger in Africa.

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