ARE determined that decarbonizing Asia’s protein system will require peaking industrial animal production no later than 2030, while simultaneously ramping up development of alternative proteins like meat, dairy and eggs made from plants, microbes and cultivated animal cells.
“If nations prioritize the manufacturing and development of alternative proteins, the climate payoff could be colossal.” – GFI APAC Managing Director Mirte Gosker
Mylk or milk? APAC plant-based dairy sector sees ‘no confusion’ amongst consumers regarding naming conventions
“[Label censorship] has not been a programmatic priority for GFI APAC, as Asian consumers already have deeper familiarity with plant-based milks and the many health benefits they offer.” – GFI APAC Managing Director Mirte Gosker
This article was written by Dr. Danai Georgiadou, a scientist from A*STAR’s Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI). She also contributes to CRISP Meats, a multi-institutional research programme led by A*STAR to address challenges faced by the industry, and accelerate the development and production of cultivated meat and seafood through public-private partnerships.
A common challenge for alternative-protein startups is that they need to spend a lot of their initial investment on new equipment. This means they can struggle to become pro table without heavy capital outlays. The government has therefore invested in relevant infrastructure such as innovation centres that help startups develop their products and raise capital.
Shanghai start-up Changing Bio turns yeast into alternative dairy products to meet China’s surging protein demand
Changing Bio’s microbial ingredient dubbed Kluvy Protein, derived from yeast sourced from the southeastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in the town of Shangri-La, is the source of protein of the company’s products. The products are identical to dairy in taste and texture but contain no animal ingredients.
“Cultivated and fermentation-based protein companies tend to be at a much earlier stage of their commercial development, with the majority of their staff still dedicated to resolving more fundamental biological and engineering challenges,” said GFI APAC Managing Director Mirte Gosker. “Conversely, those in the plant-based meat sector currently employ the majority of food application scientists, as many of these businesses are in the commercialisation stage and are looking to cook up locally relevant products for different markets of consumers.”
Despite differing opinions, both global and regional parties acknowledged a convergence or international harmonisation for the cultivated meat term, citing reasons related to research progress and consumer education.
Scientists in China’a tea hub claim to have brewed cheaper and healthier alternative protein from green tea residue
A team of scientists from Fuzhou University in China’s southern Fujian province – one of the country’s biggest tea-growing areas – claims to have developed a solution to extract protein from green tea residue.
In Singapore, investments in alt proteins multiplied to US$169.8 million by 2022, from just US$5.9 million in 2019, according to think tank Good Food Institute (GFI). This was part of the US$562 million Asia-Pacific total in 2022, up from US$42 million in 2019.