Firmenich opens R&D hub in Singapore to meet demand for plant-based foods in Asia

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s thriving alternative protein ecosystem has attracted yet another food and ingredients company seeking to have a share of the rapidly expanding plant-based food sector in Asia.

The latest company is Flavour and fragrance company Firmenich which has opened a new SmartProteins innovation hub to meet the rising demand for plant-based proteins in Asia.

The research and development (R&D) hub will join a rising number of such research hubs including the recently opened Givaudan, Buhler joint Protein innovation center and ADM’s Biopolis research hub.

Known as the Culinary and SmartProteins Innovation Center, the new establish will enable Firmenich to deliver ‘breakthrough integrated solutions’ in alternative proteins for meat and dairy analogues.

Located in Tuas, the centre marks another move in Firmenich’s effort to strengthen its presence in the region – coming after it opened a taste creation facility in the Philippines and a culinary discovery centre in Thailand in 2018.

“Leading the industry in alternative protein solutions is a key focus for Firmenich and this is an important milestone in our global expansion of capabilities,” said Emmanuel Butstraen, global president, taste & beyond at Firmenich.

“The centre will allow us to partner closely with our customers to serve a fast-growing number of flexitarian consumers with delicious food and beverage options.”

Singapore’s food sector has managed to attract heavy investments thanks to its fairly liberal regulatory environment.

Just last year, the city-state became the first country in the world to legalize commercialization of cell cultured meat.

According to Butstraen, Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), was also a partner in this investment, further underscoring the country’s commitment to leveraging modern technology to achieve food security.

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A footing in Singapore is also strategic as it gives Firmenich and other food companies a footing in Asia-Pacific Plant Protein Market which is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period of 2020-2025.

“By harnessing our deep regional and local understanding and our expertise in taste and plant-based proteins, the Innovation Center will allow us to tailor solutions to the unique needs of the Asian market and explore new angles for meat-free dishes, ” Jun Saplad, Firmenich taste & beyond’s regional president for Asia, added.

Over the past year, Firmenich has opened its new West Coast Innovation Center in California and a new pilot plant and laboratory within its Geneva production site.

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