Singapore just hosted the Alternative Protein & FoodTech Show, organised by industry nonprofit KindEarth.Tech (KET), in collaboration with cell-based crustacean startup Shiok Meats and events company SciGlo. In addition to bringing together the “first of its kind union” of leading innovators, scientists and investors in the space in a series of panels and talks, the show served up a bento box fit for the future—featuring everything from chickenless chunks and vegan cashew cheese to low-GI rice.
The Alternative Protein & FoodTech Show (APS), organised by KET, Shiok Meats and SciGlo, took place between August 25-27 this year, marking what it calls the “first of its kind union” of food tech stakeholders to discuss the role of alt-proteins in building a climate-friendly, sustainable and ethical food system.
Over the course of the three-day event at Singapore’s Ravel Innovation and Innovate 360, the show featured more than 80 companies, showcasing their sustainable food solutions, from plant-based meat to cultured proteins to an audience of more than 200.
Alt-protein through an Asian lens
Sharing more about the successful show, co-founder and CEO of Netherlands-based KET, Ira Van Eelen, said: “I am so glad that Singapore could host an in-person event where people across sectors could spend time exchanging ideas and sowing the seeds of future collaborations.”
Van Eelen is the daughter of Willem van Eelen, founder of the Invitromeat Foundation and advisory board member of Eat Just, the startup that won the race to become the world’s first to commercialise cultured meat in Singapore. Together with co-founder Olivia Fox Cabane, KET has hosted a number of alternative protein events, including the virtual Kind Technology for Future Food in November last year, and The Science of Taste in Alternative Proteins two months ago.
Its latest Singapore event marks the first non-virtual show it has hosted since the pandemic struck. It featured 8 sessions in total, each discussing different aspects of the future of alternative proteins through an Asian perspective, in fitting with regional food tech hub Singapore being the host of the show.
Among some of the topics discussed include trend analysis, consumer perfections, investments, regulation and cell-based seafood, the space that co-organiser Shiok Meats is leading, being Asia-Pacific’s most well-funded cultured protein firm to date. In a separate private tasting event on August 26, Shiok debuted what is the world’s first-ever cell-based crab meat, in a series of dishes that also featured its cultured lobster and shrimp.
“The APS event was curated carefully so as to help participants gain a global perspective through the Asian lens,” shared Shiok’s co-founder and CEO Dr. Sandhya Sriram. “I am sure many exciting conversations with long-term potential would have been sparked during this event.”
Bento box of the future
One of the key highlights of APS was the exclusive bento box that delegates dined on. Unlike your traditional bento box, the meal featured dishes made with different alternative protein products, from both local and international startups.
Dishes included a plant-based wagyu teriyaki developed by Top Tier Foods, high-fibre and low-GI rice created by Singapore startup Alchemy, and fresh produce sourced locally from Urban Tiller. Roquette’s Nutralys textured plant protein was used to serve up a Thai basil stir-fry, alongside The Vegetarian Butcher’s vegan chicken nuggets and chunks.
Finally, delegates could finish off with artisanal Singapore-made fermented vegan cashew cheese, created by local brand Nut Culture.
Aside from the future-fit bento, APS showcased other culinary creations through workshops, which were led by Chef Jose Luis of Classic Fine Foods and MasterChef Singapore finalist Sowmiya Venkatesan of Kechil Kitchen, who used a range of plant-based meat alternatives and ingredients.
Startup competitions, expert insights
APS saw some of the biggest names deliver keynote speeches, each offering their own insights on everything from fundraising and investment, to food science and marketing. Just some of the names included plant-based chicken brand Tindle’s newly-appointed COO Alex Ward, Christian Cadeo of alt-protein investor and accelerator Big Idea Ventures and Eat Just’s co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick.
AgFunder’s Asia director John Friedman, Innovate360’s director John Cheng and Roquette regional head of sales Shi Yun Tan, on the other hand, formed the panel of judges that chose the winners of the Startup Pitch Competition. While first and second place went to Singapore startup Angie’s Tempeh and SinFooTech respectively, the third prize was jointly won by India’s vegan egg startup Evo Foods and Singapore’s UrbanTiller.
All images courtesy of APS.