• Buhler CTO Ian Richards says collaboration between companies is now critical for the future.
    Buhler CTO Ian Richards says collaboration between companies is now critical for the future.

Food technology company Bühler and flavour and fragrance specialist Givaudan have announced a joint innovation centre on plant-based foods in Singapore.

The centre will be jointly run, bringing together a pilot plant featuring Bühler extrusion and processing equipment and a kitchen and flavour laboratory by Givaudan. Staff from both companies will run the facility.

Buhler CTO Ian Richards says collaboration between companies is now critical for the future.
Buhler CTO Ian Richards says collaboration between companies is now critical for the future.

Bühler CTO Ian Roberts said: “Companies are increasingly aware of the urgent need to collaborate to make an impact on the climate and nutrition challenges of this century. Universities, start-ups, and companies need to come together to innovate and find more sustainable ways to produce food.

“This is what this innovation centre is all about, and we are pleased we found a like-minded partner to bring this vision to life in Asia, home to half of the world’s population.”

The centre will welcome food processing companies, start-ups and university researchers looking to develop novel plant-based food products.

Roberts says Bühler’s equipment and processing expertise combined with Givaudan’s flavour, taste, ingredient, and product development expertise will create a “unique offering and synergy that will be greatly advantageous to those developing new products, particularly when using wet or dry extrusion”.

Givaudan head of Science and Technology Fabio Campanile said: “The project was testament that industry leaders can come together to the benefit of the whole food innovation ecosystem. We are especially excited that this project will take place in Singapore, a diverse country at the heart of Southeast Asia with strong ambitions for the future of food.

“We see a lot of market potential for plant-based products in the coming years in Asia, in particular, the alternative meat sector. Our combined expertise in the development and manufacture of plant-based foods will allow for new ranges that cater to Asia tastes, texture expectations and cooking techniques.”

GlobalData consumer insights analyst Nabila Azmatulla said in 2019, Singapore’s meat substitute market was worth US$2.85m. It is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1 per cent between 2019-2024. The growth potential is comparable to Asia, which is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8 per cent during the same period and reach an estimated US$1.38bn by 2024.

She said: “The opportunity Asian market offers makes it imperative for meat substitute manufacturers to explore plant-based foods while experimenting with local palettes and taste expectations. With ever growing population, increasing income and craving for convenience-based lifestyles, sustainability is the need of the hour.”

Campanile said: “The initial focus on extruded products is important as this is a key technology for developing authentic meat alternatives. It is also a great strength for Givaudan – we’ve optimised the flavour and taste aspects and are able to make these extruded products extremely delicious and nutritious to consumers.”

The full facility is due to open in 4Q20. Companies, start-ups, and universities willing to experiment at the innovation centre are invited to get in touch with Bühler and Givaudan’s Singapore offices.


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