University of Fort Hare – Current Students


University of Fort Hare

Please note that students are listed in alphabetical order by surname


PhD students

Chakanya, CStudent: Chido Chakanya

Degree: PhD Agriculture

Project title: Development of dried cured salami from five South African game species

Project description:
The South African game industry has developed significantly over the past few decades and is currently worth several billion rand. Potential for further growth is hinged on the ability of the industry to produce and deliver enough meat products of a high consistent quality. Cured, fermented or dried game products such as biltong, droewors and salami are more readily acceptable to consumers and have added value. A variety of salami (mostly European) now exists on the market with unique sensory attributes depending on the type and proportion of raw materials, the size of meat and fat particles, the shape of the sausage, temperature treatments, duration of each technological step, resulting moisture content, bacteria used for fermentation and the application of smoking. However, no standard procedures for the processing of game meat into salami exists in South Africa, invariably resulting in products of a questionable quality.

An in-depth knowledge on the different quality attributes of salami from different game species will be useful to the meat industry in order to control critical pivotal production processes that will ensure product quality and consistency. Moreover, it will allow different game species to be marketed separately with confidence as being different from other species, which is important in establishing a sustainable market for game meat products. Having said this, it is of paramount importance that processing procedures be developed and carefully considered in order to create a product of consistent quality that will not only appeal to consumers but also allow for quality assurance. The aim of this research is to investigate and document physical, chemical and sensorial quality attributes of salami produced using different game species so as to come up with optimal standard processing procedures for salami from game meats.

Contact information:

MSc students

Student: Kelly Cairncross

Degree: MSc Animal Sciences

Project title: Utilisation of game animal offal and maize meal in the production of affordable liver pâté/sausage

Project description:

Meat by-products aim to provide the necessary nutrients needed in a diet at an affordable price to poorer communities who seek a suitable dietary protein. This project aims to develop an affordable value-added non-meat product (liver pâté/sausage) using game liver and incorporating maize meal. Textural, sensory, micro and shelf-life properties will be tested in developing this product.

Contact information:

Student: Papama Mpangele

Degree: MSc Agriculture (Animal Science)

Project title: The effect of production systems and veld type on the mineral profile of bone, liver and muscle of Bontebok and Impala meat

Project description:

I will be looking at the mineral content of the Bontebok and Impala using the liver, last rib and loin. The Bontebok will be hunted in three different regions which is Eastern Cape, Kimberly and Western Cape hence I have decided to compare the effect of veld type on the mineral content.


  1. To determine the effect of veld types on the mineral profile of bone, liver and muscle on Bontebok harvested in Eastern Cape, Kimberly and Western cape
  2. To determine the effect of Production systems on the mineral profile of bone, liver and muscle on Impala harvested in Castle de Wildt, Limpopo and Western Cape

The Impala will be harvested in three different production systems where in Limpopo they will be kept in an Intensive production system that supplies the animals with supplementary feed only and a semi-extensive production system that depends primarily on natural vegetation with little supplementation. Bredasdorp, Western Cape practices an extensive production system where animals are kept in large camps with natural fynbos vegetation as feed.

The main aim of this study is thus to determine what effect does production systems and veld type have on the mineral profile of bone, liver and muscle of Bontebok and Impala meat.

Contact information

Student: Zikhona Mandela

Degree: MSc Animal Science

Project title: TBC

Project description:

Contact information:

MzuvukileStudent: Mzuvukile Mcayiya

Degree: MSc Agriculture

Project title: Muscle profiling and ageing of six different Blesbok (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi) muscles

Project description:
Over the years, commercial game farming has been and still is considered as a lucrative and growing industry. The growth of the industry poses a need to investigate more potential game animals that can be used as additional healthy protein sources. Blesbok (Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi) is one of the prominent game species in South Africa with an appreciable number being hunted/harvested annually.

There are many prerequisites which are known to encourage consumer meat acceptability. Among these, the most important are tenderness and colour.  In order to produce meat of consistent tenderness, we need to identify what the major muscles are and through muscle profiling and comparison, be in a position to characterise and designate the major muscles with the potential to be sold as fresh meat or as processed meat in restaurants and/or supermarkets. One of the most common methods (whether commercially or traditionally) of improving meat tenderness is ageing or conditioning of meat. Beef reportedly needs a longer ageing period than mutton but only one study has been done on the ageing of game meat, by North & Hoffman (2015) on springbok, which found the optimum ageing period to be reached in just 4 days. Therefore the main aim of the current study is to determine the nutritional quality of the six (Infra spanitus (IS), supraspinatus (SS), Longissimus thoracis et lumborum (LTL), biceps femoris (BF), semimembranosus (SM) and supraspinatus (SS)) muscles and the optimum ageing period of the two most valued Blesbok muscles (LTL and BF).

Contact information:

Vee-6Student: Nwabisa Ngwendu

Degree: MSc Animal Science

Project title: The drying kinetics of South African biltong using different muscles and salting techniques

Project description:
Processing and consumption of meat products has increased worldwide over the years. On estimate, 68 – 80 % of meat is processed into meat products worldwide as they are cheaper and more easily available to consumers than fresh meat. Dried meat products in particular are a way of value addition and offer consumers a variety of healthy ready-to-eat snacks to suit different lifestyles. In South Africa, biltong is a popular shelf-stable ready-to-eat dried product traditionally made by drying beef meat under ambient conditions. It is increasing popularity locally and with European tourists and thus grabbing more shelf space in supermarkets.

However, biltong manufactures face challenges in processing quality biltong due to lack of relevant information. This results in production of biltong of an inconsistent quality. Therefore it is imperative that thorough understanding of the technological steps involved in biltong processing and their effect on product quality be clearly understood. This will provoke the use of innovative technology so as to improve biltong quality. Hence the aim of the study is to determine the effect of muscle type and vacuum tumbling on salt impregnation, drying kinetics, physico-chemical and textural properties of South African traditional biltong.

Contact information: