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Singapore’s food tech startup Shiok Meats has just been named one of Fast Company’s top 10 most innovative companies in Asia-Pacific. Founded in 2018, the startup aims to disrupt the unsustainable US$40 billion shrimp market with its lab-grown shrimp product, and has recently featured in the Asia Alternative Protein Industry Report as one of the leading 2.0 food techs paving the way to meet the challenges of our global food system.
Fast Company has recently chosen Singapore startup Shiok Meats as one of the most innovative companies in the Asia-Pacific region. Speaking to Vegconomist about the news, co-founder and CEO of Shiok Meats Sandhya Sriram said: “We are extremely happy and honoured to be named as one of the most innovative companies by Fast Company – it truly shows that we are committed to creating innovative solutions to today’s dying oceans by producing cell-based seafood for everyone.”
Started in 2018 by Sandhya Sriram and Ka Yi Ling, the startup has been fighting the unsustainable nature of traditional shrimp farming as Asia’s consumption of seafood continues to rise. Using cellular technology to grow shrimp cells, the company has already successfully cultivated a shrimp product that has been sampled in the highly popular Asian dish shrimp dumplings or siu mai last year.
Compared to both wild caught and farmed shrimp, lab-grown shrimp comes with a far lighter environmental footprint as it does not contribute to marine species depletion and plastic pollution associated with the seafood industry. It also solves the rampant issues of traceable origins and food safety that most seafood products are plagued with.
The company has so far secured US$4.6 million in seed funding and has been accepted into the renowned US-based accelerator Y Combinator last year, and have also been working on developing cell-based crustacean meats such as crab and lobster.
Shiok Meats has also recently been featured in the Asia Alternative Protein Industry Report, the first in-depth analysis of the cultivated and plant-based meat industry developments in the region. The report cites Shiok Meats as one of the leading food techs to potentially bring about the world’s first commercially cultivated food right here in Asia, a region where the new food economy is still in its early stages.
Right now, one lab-grown shrimp product by Shiok Meats costs around US$300 to produce, but the startup is actively working on cutting costs to US$50 for each kilogram by the end of this year by signing a new low-cost deal for the nutrients needed to grow seafood cells. In an interview, Sriram revealed that they are looking to bring its product to market as soon as next year, potentially making them the “first ever company to launch a cell-based meat product in the world.”
Want to know more about Asia’s alternative protein space? Download the first in-depth Asia Alternative Protein Industry Report: New Protein New Decade by Green Queen Media here.
Lead image courtesy of Shiok Meats.