Global food processing company Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) announced at the tail-end of last week it had opened an innovation lab in Singapore dedicated to plant-based protein. The lab will help the company increase production of alternative proteins “to meet growing food and beverage demand in the Asia-Pacific region.”
The new facility is located ADM’s Biopolis research hub, which contains a number of different labs, including one for flavor analytics, a sensory evaluation center, labs for sweet, savory, and dairy foods, and a customer innovation center. The plant-based innovation lab will house experts working with texture, flavor, and other key areas of alt-protein development.
“The lab will help us capture key insight and learnings to help drive exciting new solutions for the Asian market, but also help us better serve customers around the world looking to incorporate Asian flavors and preferences into their latest plant-based food and beverage innovations,” Marie Wright, chief global flavorist and president, Creation, Design & Development for ADM, said in a statement.
Singapore continues to be a key location in Asia for the development of alternative proteins. Just today, cultivated meat company Avant Meats announced its own R&D and pilot manufacturing facility in the city-state. Perfect Day announced its Singapore facility in December of 2020, and the city-state made history in December 2020 by granting the world’s first regulatory approval to a company, Eat Just, to sell cultured meat. There is also a growing number of local players, including plant-based meat maker Next Gen and cell-based seafood maker Shiok Meats.
Singapore is a natural spot for food innovation. Currently, it relies on exports for about 90 percent of its food. The government’s 30×30 initiative is attempting to change this by aiming to make 30 percent of food production local by 2030.
At the same time, Asia is one of the key regions for the growth of alternative proteins. A recent report from DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences found that demand for plant-based protein in the Asia-Pacific markets is expected to grow 200 percent over the next five years.