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Singapore’s first contract manufacturing facility dedicated to plant-based foods, SGProtein, has announced an agreement with Bühler Group to build its new production line in the city-state. Slated to operate by Q4 this year, the facility will boast an initial capacity of 3,000 tons of plant-based meat annually and is expected to help Singapore become a major alternative protein exporter in the coming years.
SGProtein has chosen Swiss food processing giant Bühler to engineer and supply its production line for what is Singapore’s first large-scale contract manufacturing facility for plant-based meat, the company announced on Wednesday (June 2). Located at the Food Hub of Commonwealth Capital, the new production facility is expected to be operational by Q4 this year and will churn out 3,000 tons of plant-based meat per year.
“The plant will support both start-up as well as multinational companies entering the plant-based meat segment to scale their production quickly for domestic and export markets,” commented SGProtein co-founder Riccarda Züllig.
“It is essential that we bring in state-of-the-art manufacturing technology for our customers to create the best possible products. The scale effect brought by this infrastructure will help Singapore become a plant-based meat net exporter.”
Among some of the technologies the factory will house include a high-capacity extrusion system for high moisture meat analogues, as well as a range of processing equipment to manufacture products according to their clients’ specifications, from seafood analogues to plant-based beef patties.
The scale effect brought by this infrastructure will help Singapore become a plant-based meat net exporter.Riccarda Züllig, Co-Founder, SGProtein
SGProtein offers packaging, cooling, freezing and delivery services as well, which means that food businesses are able to “focus solely on developing and selling” their alternative protein products.
The opening of the facility will no doubt be a further boost to Singapore’s reputation as a food tech hub, ever since the government pushed its ambitious plan to increase its local food production to 30% by 2030 as part of its climate adaptation strategy.
In the wake of the pandemic, Singapore authorities have allocated additional funds to support food innovation and production to bolster the import-reliant city against supply chain shocks, and made global headlines in December 2020 when it became the first and to date the only country to approve the commercial sale of cultured meat.
“By manufacturing locally and at scale, brands can also significantly shorten supply chains, resulting in significantly less environmental impact and additional cost savings,” said SGProtein in a press statement.
We are delighted to now count SGProtein among our customers and to support them building supply with their contract manufacturing plant.Ian Roberts, CTO, Bühler
Speaking about the partnership, Ian Roberts, CTO at Bühler, said: “We are thrilled to see the fast development of Asia’s plant-based protein ecosystem. Bühler has already made several strategic partnerships in that field.”
Bühler recently opened a plant-based innovation centre in the city, and has collaborated with food tech accelerator and investor Big Idea Ventures (BIV) to support the alternative protein startup ecosystem.
“We are delighted to now count SGProtein among our customers and to support them building supply with their contract manufacturing plant. Their service will add an important piece to the puzzle, allowing the newly developed products to be produced at scale for Asian markets,” continued Roberts.
Asia is set to become one of the fastest-growing markets for alternative protein, with the region’s food techs bagging six-fold the investment in 2020 compared to the year before, and experts estimating a 200% demand surge in key Asian markets in the next years, driven by the mainstream flexitarian trend and rising concerns over sustainability, health and food safety.
Lead image courtesy of SGProtein / Bühler.