Food processing technology giant Bühler and major flavour and fragrance manufacturer Givaudan is to build a new Innovation Center dedicated to plant-based food in Singapore. Opening later this year, the facility will host food processing companies, startups and scientific researchers developing new plant-based food products. Both companies say that the mission of the Innovation Center is to help develop solutions for inevitable climate and nutrition challenges to come – and the choice of location in Asia is a signal that the food revolution will explode in the region.
Leading food processing and technology company Bühler has teamed up with the world’s largest flavour manufacturer Givaudan to launch a new Innovation Center in Singapore to help develop plant-based food. The facility will be located at Givaudan’s Woodlands site, where Bühler will be bringing in extrusion and processing equipment alongside Givaudan’s flavour laboratory. Their infrastructure will be open to food processing and food tech startups, as well as university researchers who are working on developing novel plant-based products.
The two companies, both based in Switzerland, say the goal of the facility is to come up with sustainable food solutions to feed the rapidly growing global population and the challenges that climate change will bring.
“The projected population of 10 billion people by 2050 is a challenge too big to be solved alone. Companies are increasingly aware of the urgent need to collaborate to make an impact on the climate and nutrition challenges of this century. Universities, startups, and companies need to come together to innovate and find more sustainable ways to produce food,” explained CTO of Bühler Ian Roberts.
In addition to the most advanced machinery and laboratories, the Singapore facility will also be supported by experts from both companies, which will help startups and researchers in the process of manufacturing new food products, especially when using wet or dry extrusion. With the official launch of the facility planned for the end of 2020, Bühler and Givaudan are already inviting interested companies, startups and universities to get in touch.
For both Swiss companies to choose Singapore as their Innovation Center’s destination reflects the potential for the Asian region to lead the plant-based development space. Commenting on their decision to open the facility in the Southeast Asian hub, the head of science and technology at Givaudan Fabio Campanile says that there is “a lot of market potential for plant-based products in the coming years in Asia, [and] in particular the alternative meat sector.”
He added that their goal to both develop ideas and manufacture locally in Asia will enable both companies to aid the creation of a range of plant-based products that will specifically cater to Asian “tastes, texture expectations and cooking techniques.”
While there are already a host of startups in Singapore and elsewhere in Asia working on developing sustainable food solutions, the launch of the new Innovation Center in Singapore is likely to further help the sector attract more talent and entrepreneurs, as well as encourage more investment – all of which are much-needed to help the burgeoning industry create feasible solutions to our broken global food system.
Lead image courtesy of The Alternative Dairy Co.