Capetonians can add another accolade to its long list of achievements! It is being reported that Africa’s first cultivated beef burger is being made right here in the Mother City and word on the streets is that it is very tasty!
The beef burger is produced at the BioCiti lab, while the meat patty is the product of Mzansi Meat Company. The company aims to find a way to make healthier, more environmentally-friendly meat that tastes just as good as farm-reared livestock.
Where the process starts
The journey of the burger begins at Mzansi Meat’s local farm animal sanctuary. At this farm, veterinarians remove tiny tissue cells from free-roaming animals.
A sample of the harvested cell is taken to the Mzansi Meat lab, where they isolate the cells and grow them in a culture medium, a special type of food containing vitamins, salts and proteins that the cells need to develop and divide.
A spokesperson at the lab says once they have enough cells, they place them on an edible structure. They add a few additional flavours and the cultivated meat is now ready to be served.
The meat lab
The process takes place at the BioCiti lab, which was established in 2019 by the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative.
Meanwhile, the Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, James Vos has tasted the burger and says it is very tasty.
At BioCiTi, the tech incubator is helping to produce industries of the future, by creating a bridge between research and commercialisation of ideas based on the application of technology to biological sciences.
It is platforms such as these that have helped Cape Town gain a reputation as Africa’s start-up capital. Cape Town is home to 38% of South Africa’s IT developers, the highest concentration of these in the country.
During my time as Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth, I’ve witnessed how Cape Town start-ups such as Mzansi Meat Co are creating products that are not just world-first, but have a meaningful impact on people’s lives.
It gives me great pride that the City forms part of the network of support for these entrepreneurs.