SG food tech sector growing

The food technology sector in Asia continues to thrive with more funding and expansions, as shown by two Singapore-based companies. Rapidly gaining prominence for its novel use of cell-based technology in milk production, TurtleTree has successfully raised US$30 million in the first tranche of their Series A funding, said to be one of the largest investment rounds to date in Asia's cell-based food sector.
After recently launching a new R&D facility in the US, TurtleTree will now use the funds to continue expanding its portfolio of sustainable food items. Additionally, the company will set aside funds for technology development and talent acquisition.
These initiatives will help the company scale up its research and production of functional ingredients in human milk. The company also plans to launch its first commercial product, lactoferrin, a bioactive protein.
Meanwhile, Singapore-based Sophie's Bionutrients, which introduced a milk alternative made from protein-rich microalgae earlier this year, will expand the business to the Netherlands. The aim is to tap into the European country's plant-based protein ecosystem.
Algae-based ingredients have piqued food industry interest in recent years as a sustainable, animal-free source of protein, lipids, and micronutrients. Traditionally grown in open ponds, they are "extremely fast-growing" and require few inputs. However, the company sees an even better way to grow microalgae for food, based on fermentation using various food industry waste as feedstock.
Sophie's Bionutrients' CEO and founder Eugene Wang said the Netherlands already boasts over 250 plant-based protein companies. It is a European research hotspot for alternative proteins and microbial fermentation for food production.
According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Blue Horizon Corporation (BHC), the market for alternative proteins will reach US$290 billion by 2035. Consumers will drive growth in plant-, microorganism-, and animal-cell-based alternatives. Björn Witte, CEO and BHC managing partner, said:
"The alternative protein arena is wide open, and progress is happening fast. There is a real opportunity here for investors to make their moves early and become integral players in the future of food. But to successfully navigate the industry, they must hone their technological knowledge and ensure they're one step ahead of potential disruptions." Compiled by Kristy Tan 
(image from Unsplash)

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