Local company introduces first cell-based chicken product

A Hartbeespoort meat company, Mogale Meat Co. has successfully created its first cell-based chicken breast product, a first-of-its-kind in Africa.

Dr. Paul Bartels (third from left) with his team during the showcase of the cell-based chicken breast

Mogale, a company founded by well-known Hartbeespoort game veterinarian, Dr Paul Bartels, who was involved in the cloning of the first cow in South Africa, recently launched its first prototype of a chicken breast cultivated by means of cell technology.

Mogale showcased the first prototype to the public at the end of March. The cultivated chicken breast – composed of real chicken muscle and fat cells blended with a mushroom matrix – is the first of many prototypes Mogale is working on. Its first cultivated wildlife meat prototype will be revealed later this year.

“Our next goal will be game meats, 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 venison meat family, due to the great variety of species found in southern Africa. Cultivated meat is destined to play a significant role in conserving biodiversity and wildlife species 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 prototyping a “unique, modular, plug-and-play” production plant that will allow cultivated meat to be made in specific locations, which will not only provide the people across Africa with affordable and nutritional animal protein but do so in a way that conserves the continent’s precious wildlife and biodiversity.
Mogale is a portfolio company of Cult Food Science Corp., an investment platform with an exclusive focus on cellular agriculture that provides a sustainable, environmental and ethical solution to the global factory farming and aquaculture crises.

Mogale has been working over the past eight months to produce Africa’s first chicken breast prototype using cultivated meat technology to compete in the global US$15million XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competition.

This new food technology is deemed a viable solution to counter the supply issues caused by the current outbreak of avian influenza – also known as bird flu – across North America. The epidemic is the worst in seven years and it is causing a significant increase in the price of eggs and poultry.

“Each avian influenza outbreak serves as yet another reminder 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 devoted to developing its own intellectual property to foster the evolution of cellular agriculture, as well as investing in promising ventures in order to build its portfolio of investee companies and foster communication between them.”

“The opportunities presented by advancements in technology to allow for Mogale to be able to cellularly cultivate chicken in a more sustainable fashion is incredible and will undoubtedly lead to a better future in Africa and the rest of the world,” said Lejjy Gafour, president of Cult.

The Mogale Meat chicken

“We are thrilled for Mogale Meat and its accomplishments thus far, and we look forward to it continuing to blossom 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-based meat accessible to Africa’s rapidly growing population.