Within a span of one week, some of the world’s leading organisations announced the establishment of their new plant-based protein innovation centres in Singapore with a focus on developing plant-based products specifically suited for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. These investments by global food industry majors ADM, Bühler, and Givaudan highlight the growing significance of the APAC region, with its large population base, in the plant-based ecosystem of the future.
Early last week, American multinational food processing company ADM announced the opening of its new plant-based innovation lab in Biopolis research hub in Singapore. The lab will develop “next-level, on-trend and nutritious products” to meet the growing food and beverage demand in the APAC region.
The new ADM facility brings together experts in proteins & texturing ingredients and flavour specialists, enabling the creation of tailor-made solutions for the Asian consumer palate. It will give ADM the ability to test flavours, textures, fats and binding characteristics in-house and accelerate product development. The company’s Biopolis research hub in Singapore features a wide range of capabilities, including a food and flavour analytic lab, a beverage and dairy applications lab and pilot plant, a bakery and confectionery lab, a meat and savoury lab, a sweet and savoury creation lab, sensory evaluation facilities and a customer innovation centre, in addition to the new plant-based innovation lab.
In another major development, Swiss company Givaudan and food processing major Bühler have jointly opened a protein innovation centre at the Givaudan Woodlands site in Singapore to give a boost to agile plant-based product development on a global scale. The APAC Protein Innovation Centre is jointly run and supported by experts from both companies and is connected to a vast network of R&D innovation centres in Switzerland and other key hubs across the region.
The Centre aims to work with food processing companies, startups and university researchers from across the APAC region interested to co-create plant-based food experiences. It will bring together Bühler’s extrusion and processing technology with Givaudan’s culinary facilities and expertise in flavour, taste, ingredient, and product development.
The joint Protein Innovation Centre has been designed to facilitate the end-to-end process of plant-based protein production. The 400-square-meter facility includes a pilot scale wet and dry extruder, a product development kitchen, storage facilities, meeting amenities and a visitor viewing area. Companies in the plant-based space can avail support in raw material selection, product development and research, application, flavour science, extrusion, and consumer testing. The facility that can produce up to 40 kilograms of plant proteins in an hour, enables development of high-quality products suitable for Asian culinary applications at scale.
The APAC region offers immense opportunities for plant-based companies operating in this region. A recent DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences study states the growth opportunities are particularly promising in the Asia-Pacific region, with demand for plant-based meat in China and Thailand expected to increase by 200% over the next five years.