First cultivated chicken in Africa is launched

Mogale Meat’s cultivated chicken breast prototype. Photo: CULT
Mogale Meat’s cultivated chicken breast prototype. Photo: CULT

CULT Food Science Corp., an investment platform with a focus on cellular agriculture, has announced that its portfolio company, Mogale Meat Co., has successfully created its first cultivated chicken breast product, which is the first of its kind in Africa.

Mogale Meat showcased its first cellular chicken breast to the public in South Africa on 30 March. The cultivated chicken breast, composed of real chicken muscle and fat cells blended with a mushroom matrix, is the first of many prototypes that the company is planning to spotlight.

XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competition

Mogale has been working over the past 8 months to produce Africa’s first chicken breast prototype using cultivated meat technology to compete in the global US$15 million XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competition. This competition aims to incentivise teams to produce chicken breast or fish fillet alternatives that replicate or outperform conventional chicken and fish in the areas of access, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, nutrition, as well as taste and texture.

CULT management is preparing to open a seed round of funding in the second or third quarter of 2022. Mogale’s first cultivated wildlife meat prototype is also being planned to be revealed later this year.

Approximately 13 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia face severe hunger and, over the course of 2022, 15-20 million people in those 3 countries could face serious food insecurity, according to ‘East Africa’s Growing Food Crisis: What to Know’ by Michelle Gavin.

Modular, plug-and-play production plant for cultivated meat

Mogale says that its team is also meanwhile working on prototyping a unique, modular, plug-and-play production plant that will allow cultivated meat to be made in specific locations, which will provide people across Africa with affordable and nutritious animal protein, sustainably.

“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.

Bird flu – a reminder

The current outbreak of avian influenza, or bird flu, across North America is the worst in 7 years, noted the CULT, adding that this is adding to the factors affecting the increasing prices of eggs and poultry. The company’s management team says that each avian influenza outbreak serves as a reminder that cellular agriculture is the way of the future. 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, it says.

Natalie Kinsley Freelance journalist