Growthwell Foods, a Singapore-based plant-based group, will soon be opening its R&D and manufacturing facility, which represents the city-state’s first fully automated production line for plant-based products. Later this month, Singapore’s environment minister Grace Fu will be joining the factory’s opening ceremony and further solidifying the country’s reputation as Asia’s leading food tech hub.
Singapore-based Growthwell is set to open its factory on October 28, which it claims is the first fully automated large-scale production facility for plant-based proteins in the country. The factory will serve as Growthwell’s manufacturing site, as well as house its R&D and innovation hub for its vegan meat and seafood alternatives.
2,000 tonnes of vegan protein annually
Located at JTC Foodhub Senoko, the company’s facility boasts a production capacity of 2,000 metric tonnes of vegan protein per year. It features high-moisture extrusion technology, suited for the large-scale production of Growthwell’s line of plant-based meat and seafood.
Growthwell says the new technology will “significantly improve the texture” of its alternatives, while the automated line will help speed up production time, with freezing and packaging for its vegan patties and nuggets now all done by machine. Over time, Growthwell says this will translate to lower costs for consumers.
The Singapore group has a number of plant-based products, among them vegan seafood analogues made with Israeli food tech’s ChickP protein. Growthwell is also behind the egg-free cooking ingredients label OKK, plant-based ready meal brand Gomama and mushroom-based meat-free alternative brand Su Xian Zi.
Bolstering Singapore’s food security
Opening on October 28, Growthwell has invited Singapore’s minister for sustainability and environment Grace Fu to attend the ceremony, to mark what is yet another milestone in boosting the city’s reputation as a sustainable protein leader.
The government has outlined plans to boost its local food production to 30% by 2030 as part of its climate adaptation strategy, and allocated additional funding for sustainable protein projects and food techs in the wake of the pandemic to fend the country against supply chain shortages.
In December 2020, Singapore famously became the first country in the world to approve the commercial sale of cultured meat, and still remains the only country with the regulatory framework for the novel protein.
Growthwell says that its factory is a “step towards realising [our] goal of contributing to Singapore’s 30 by 30 vision”. Earlier this year, the plant-based company made public its ambition to “feed 100 million” people with vegan protein, forging a partnership with Indoguna, a premium foods supplier with a network spanning across Asia and the Middle East.
The latest news comes on the heels of its $22 million Series A in September, which went towards supporting the opening of the factory and plans to launch its vegan meat and seafood range beyond Southeast Asia.
Other plant-based protein factories set to open in Singapore include SGProtein’s upcoming site, which will be built in collaboration with Bühler, and boasts a production capacity of 3,000 tons of plant-based meat annually. It is expected to open in Q4 of 2021.
All images courtesy of Growthwell, unless otherwise credited.