South-African cellular food-tech company Mogale Meat is working on solutions to face Africa’s food security issues and aims to make a significant contribution to feeding the next billion people with meat created from the cells of free-roaming antelope and cattle.
Launched in 2020, Mogale Meat has two US-based global venture capitalists on board with Sustainable Food Ventures, founded by Ryan Bethencourt, and CULT Food Science. Mogale Meat joins the South African food-tech pioneer Mzansi Meat in targeting the African market with cultivated meat.
Speaking to vegconomist, Mzansi Meat’s CEO Brett Thompson emphasized the great benefits of African biodiversity to produce cultivated meat, commenting: “We are so fortunate in Africa to have so many domestic and wildlife species to choose from and linking that to the different requirements necessary to produce wholesome and healthy meat.”
Mzansi Meat currently focuses on cell-based cultivation of common meat products, such as beef and chicken. Mogale Meat is joining the cell-based space with clear ambitions to focus on African wildlife species, including antelope. Company CEO Dr. Paul Bartels, who is a wildlife veterinarian with over 25 years experience in biobanking, explains to Food Ingredients First: “Cell culture meat derived from African Antelope is a lean, healthier meat as compared to meat derived from livestock species.”
Cultivated meat is considered by many as a great hope for Africa, a continent that will account for the highest population increase with an additional 1.3 billion people by 2050, according to the UN population report. Simultaneously, there is scientific evidence from South Africa’s Credence Institute showing that there is a high demand for cell-cultured meat in South Africa, with 60% of study participants willing to try cell-cultured meat.
According to Business Insider South Africa, Mogale Meat has already achieved initial success through a project with Cryowild BioBank NPC, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Tshwane University of Technology, developing a cultivated chicken meat alternative to feed the next billion people. Additionally, Mogale was announced as one of 28 semi-finalists from 14 countries competing in the $15 million XPRIZE Feed The Next Billion competition.
Mogale Meat’s mission is to “make healthy and nutritious cell-cultured meat accessible to all in Africa.” The startup considers cultivated meat as an ideal solution to address rising food security problems impacting Africa, stating: “Africa’s expanding population is rapidly outstripping our ability to supply affordable nutritious foods. Cultivated meat has the potential to address food security and add nutritional value without further large-scale land-use change.”