Tasneem Karodia

Newform Foods

What does your company do?

The long-term viability of our current food systems faces several critical challenges. Conventional meat production, in particular, poses a significant environmental burden. Peer-reviewed research published in the International Journal for Life Cycle Assessments found that cultivated meat can produce up to 92% fewer greenhouse gases. Cultivated meat is produced with less hormones, minimal antibiotics, and without animal harm Newform Foods (formerly Mzansi Meat) is a South African foodtech startup offering a bio-production platform for cultivated animal products. Our technology enables food companies to manufacture cultivated meat (first vertical). Future verticals include: fat, connective tissue, functional ingredients like Omega 3. Newform provides an end-to-end solution for the cultivated meat value chain - from cell lines to pilot production. Our goal is to accelerate the adoption of cultivated meat globally by lowering barriers to entry. Newform's modular, subscription-based platform reduces risk, cost and timelines for food businesses looking to integrate sustainability. Since 2020, Newform has made significant advances in refining and testing its flexible bio-manufacturing prototypes focused on scalability and automation. They provide customized packages for food industry clients tailored to specific needs across research, small-volume prototypes, pilot facilities, and licensing agreements

What is your biggest success?

I stopped eating meat when I was 16 for sustainability reasons. That drive pushed me to start this company to have an impact on food systems and sustainability on a larger scale. The industry for cultivated meat is only 11 years old globally, so when we started in 2020 there were very few benchmarks we could draw from, we had to do all our research and build all our technology, being able to go from an idea to being in the lab within in 6 months of launching, to building our prototype 18 months later in April 2022 was incredible and still the biggest success that sticks with me. I got to eat real meat, from an animal that didn't have to be slaughtered, for the first time in 15 years - that was amazing. It made what we are doing tangible and showed what is possible. For me this is only the start, we have had great success to date, improving the efficiency, and adding more products and now we are looking towards scaling this up.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Our biggest hurdle is fundraising, we are working on something truly innovative that has the power to shift and change how we food our growing population but it requires upfront capital before we can generate sustainable revenues. We have raised capital from local and international markets and are now diversifying fundraising to include grant funding and other sources of capital but it is still a challenge to ask for funds for something that still requires R&D and is so now also people see a risk being based on South Africa even though we are so much more resource efficient that in other places.