ScaleUp Bio Obtains Food Manufacturing Licence for Precision Fermentation in Singapore

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The Singapore Food Agency has granted a food production licence to ScaleUp Bio’s commercial-scale facility for submerged- and precision-fermented ingredients.

ScaleUp Bio has received a food manufacturing licence from Singapore’s regulatory body to allow companies to produce fermentation-derived ingredients on an industrial scale.

A joint venture between Nurasa (the food innovation platform of state-owned investment firm Temasek) and global nutrition giant ADM, ScaleUp Bio is now one of just a few contract development and manufacturing organisations (CDMOs) globally to be approved as a food production facility.

It means food tech startups can use its newly opened 2,300 sq m facility to produce ingredients derived from submerged microbial and precision fermentation technologies. Situated in the high-tech manufacturing district of Tuas in west Singapore, the plant has fermentation and associated downstream processing capacities of up to 10,000 litres.

It represents another major milestone for Singapore’s thriving food tech ecosystem – at least 25 non-local companies have a presence in the city-state for R&D and business development, while it’s home to almost a quarter (24%) of all alternative protein startups in Asia-Pacific.

Advancing fermentation companies’ route to market

precision fermentation singapore
Courtesy: ScaleUp Bio

First announced in October 2022, the facility houses innovation hubs and technical specialists to ensure quality control and safe production standards, alongside a full suite of business advisory, Asia market entry, and other related services.

The food manufacturing licence signals its fulfilment of the Singapore Food Agency’s (SFA) stringent regulations. These requirements entail adherence to specific infrastructure and facility standards for food safety production, and emphasise training, collaboration, and regulatory compliance to uphold hygiene and operational excellence.

“ScaleUp Bio’s value proposition offers anyone with the next best concept in food to bring that idea to reality, and to pilot stage commercial production in Singapore, backed by a blue-chip corporate ecosystem of support. With this milestone, we are moving one step forward towards enabling the next food revolution,” said ScaleUP Bio CEO Francisco Codoñer. “We are deeply grateful to SFA for this milestone, and we are ready to go.”

“At Nurasa, we are committed to pioneering a new world of sustainably produced nutrition solutions for our planet,” added Nurasa CEO Guo Xiu Ling. “ScaleUp Bio’s milestone from SFA is a pivotal step forward in this journey.”

Last November, ScaleUp Bio secured its first customers to aid process optimisation and scale up production. Australia’s Nourish Ingredients, which makes precision-fermented fats for meat and dairy analogues, teamed up with the CDMO to support its Asia growth. It will be supported by the 10,000-litre fermentation and 100-litre thermal processing capacity provided by ScaleUp Bio. Nourish Ingredient’s Tastilux fat is already undergoing the SFA’s regulatory approval process.

Additionally, it also signed letters of intent with New York-based C16 Biosciences (which makes a fermented palm oil alternative), Malaysian plant-based meat brand Ultimeat, and Singaporean food tech startup Allium Bio, which co-cultures algae and mycelium to turn into functional ingredients like protein isolates.

Twin fermentation facilities represent ‘pioneering initiative’

precision fermentation facility
Courtesy: ScaleUp Bio

ScaleUp Bio’s facility complements its Fermentation Joint Lab, part of Nurasa’s 3,840 sq m Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC), which was publicly unveiled earlier this month.

Developed and operated by ScaleUp Bio and the state-owned Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), the food-grad lab has bioreactors with a capacity of up to 100 litres and enables startups to foster their ideas via R&D.

This is, in fact, one of two facilities operated by ScaleUp Bio within the FTIC. The second one is home to its new headquarters, and focuses on high-moisture extrusion (HME) for plant proteins to make meat analogues with superior texture and mouthfeel.

The CDMO has also penned deals with partners for its Fermentation Joint Lab, which sees fellow Singaporean companies Allozymes and Algrow Biosciences accelerate the development of their precision-fermented engineering platform and algae protein pigment, respectively. Meanwhile, Canada’s Terra Bioindustries, which upcycled agrifood products into sustainable inputs, and the UK’s Argento Labs, which uses biotech to develop high-value products, have signed letters of intent too.

These clients will benefit from the nutrition and innovation expertise provided by ADM too. “ScaleUp Bio stands as a significant joint venture with Temasek’s Nurasa, demonstrating our commitment to meeting Asia’s unique food needs.,” said Gary McGuigan, ADM’s Asia-Pacific president. “We look forward to continuing our support for ScaleUp Bio and aspiring food-tech companies as we collectively pave the way for a more sustainable food system.”

Codoñer said the two fermentation facilities “represent a pioneering initiative for Singapore and globally”. “From R&D to pilot scale, our fermentation expertise ensures excellence,” he stated, inviting food tech startups to engage with its facilities. “Transitioning from bench to market? Our collaborative ecosystem – including parent and sister companies, research institutions, and industry partners – offers guidance.”


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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