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News in brief

Malaysian Customs decides against GST on 60 foods

Malaysia’s Customs department has rejected an order to impose GST on more than 60 food items.

Dateline Southeast Asia

Quality trumps price for time-poor urban Thai consumers

The quality of a product is more important to Thai consumers than its price, according to Mintel research.


Salt tax proposal draws anger from lawmakers and consumer groups

A bill to impose a tax on the salt content of processed foods has been criticised by Filipino politicians and consumer groups, who accuse it of being a stealthy means...

'We will react and respond to any discriminatory measures against Malaysian palm oil,' warns minister

With a recent European resolution calling for tariffs and trade barriers against any palm oil linked to deforestation, Malaysia's minister for plantations and commodities warns: "We will react and respond accordingly...

Palm oil sector moves to save orangutans and put child rights into RSPO standards

Three major new initiatives have been launched to tackle human rights, wildlife conservation and concessions’ data across the palm oil supply chain.

Cash incentives to lose weight: Could this help solve Asia’s obesity epidemic?

Academics in Singapore say giving obese people cash incentives to lose weight could help stem the rise in non-communicable diseases.

Dateline Southeast Asia

Indonesia launches web monitor to keep check on food price inflation

In a move designed to help keep food prices stable and inflation in line with official targets, Indonesian officials have launched a website to monitor the prices of the 10...

Morinaga eyes South East Asia growth with probiotics and blood pressure product

Morinaga has revealed plans to target the South East Asia market to boost sales of its functional ingredients such as its Bifidus BB536 probiotic strain.

Powerful protein: Edible insects packing a punch

Michi Abe, founder of Abundance Food, launched the ProPro energy bar last year in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. 

Thai giant launches new food standard

Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited (CPF) has introduced a CPF food standard project in an effort to build consistent quality and food safety management systems across its integrated feed-farm-food...

News in brief

Thailand to be food ‘superpower’ in two decades

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has vowed to make the country a food industry “superpower” in the next 20 years, as he introduced a new strategy.

Dateline Southeast Asia

Ingredion launches clean-label alternative to modified starches

Ingredion has developed a line of Homecraft Create multifunctional rice flours that produce smooth, silky textures in clean label and gluten-free products.

NH Foods JV makes progress on Malaysia halal hub

Japan’s biggest food manufacturer has chosen Malaysia to be its hub for halal exports, in partnership with a Malaysian chicken major.

Students help devise alcohol-free Japanese soy sauce

Muslim students have been enlisted by a Japanese condiments manufacturer to help develop a new halal soy sauce which it hopes to begin exporting to Southeast Asia later this year.

Mintel: 13% of Asia-Pacific product launches carry halal claim

With food accounting for nearly two-thirds of business in the global halal economy, there has been a flurry of new product activity in Asia-Pacific.

Malaysian incubator signs deal to boost China’s halal exports

A Malaysian technology and energy incubator has agreed to collaborate with companies in Hong Kong and China to produce and market halal-certified foods internationally.


VIDEO: Singapore to boost status as a food and nutrition powerhouse

Increasing high-tech jobs, boosting exports and helping home-grown brands soar are among the priorities for Singapore as it seeks to cement its status as South East Asia's premier food industry...

South East Asia’s US$10bn obesity bombshell: New report reveals economic cost of health epidemic

The annual economic cost of obesity in South East Asia could be as high as US$10bn, a number that could rocket to $45bn if people who are currently overweight go...

Thailand expects cap on sugar content by 2018

Thailand is expected to introduce a sugar cap by next year, according to the national food regulator. 

News in brief

Novacap prepares to open new sodium bicarbonate plant in Singapore

Novacap is preparing to open a stand-alone sodium bicarbonate plant in Singapore to help the French firm expand across the food, feed, pharmaceutical and health care industries in APAC.

New oil palms promise highest crude palm oil yields in industry: GAR

A new variety of oil palm developed using traditional plant breeding techniques will increase crude palm oil yields by up to double current levels, says SMART Tbk, a subsidiary of...

China direct

Sino-Singapore food park signs two new deals

The Sino-Singapore Jilin Food Zone has signed two deals that will boost efforts to produce safe, high-quality products to be exported between the two countries. 

From shopping mall to office block: Singapore’s micro-farms

Just 25 “micro-farms” could stimulate an agricultural economy in Singapore and produce some 750 tonnes of vegetables a year.

News in brief

Tetra Pak opens Singapore innovation centre

Packaging major Tetra Pak has opened its first Asian customer innovation centre at its Jurong site in Singapore.

Indonesia granted $600m irrigation loan from ADB

The Asian Development Bank has approved a US$600m loan to support an Indonesian programme to improve irrigation and boost food security in poor rural areas. 

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