Up to four winners will also be receiving grants of over US$37,000 (S$50,000) from Enterprise Singapore.
Organised by ID Capital, the award challenges start-ups to create sustainable food solutions.
India’s String Bio was the winner last year. The firm uses biological conversion process to produce a protein that can be used as animal feed.
This year, the number of applications grew 30%, with applicants coming from 19 countries.
Commenting on the competition, Isabelle Decitre, Founder and CEO of ID Capital believes that “APAC has a major role” to play in this nascent area of food innovation, and is able to “deliver solid investment opportunities to forward-thinking investors.”
“The diversity of the finalists and their technology solutions once again showcases the vitality of the region, as well as its capacity to tackle not only region-specific challenges but global ones too,” she added.
Besides the competition, there will also be panel discussions and keynote addresses from industry players, such as Josh Tetrick, CEO and co-founder of JUST, David Li, director of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab and Adam Melonas, founder and CEO of Chew LLC.
Korea has the most number of applicants who made it to the finals this year.
They are BLH Aqua Technology, PureSpace and XRE Corporation. The solutions they provide range from improving water absorption for efficient farming, using nano-catalyst technology to preserve fresh produce along cold chain, and creating patented can lids to reduce beverage waste.
This is followed by India and Australia, both having two firms that made it to the finals.
India’s firms include BioPrime AgriSolutions and FIB-SOL Life Technologies. The two firms aim to improve farming yield by using patented alternative bio-organic means and patented nanofibre platform technology.
Australia’s firms are OneCrop and Terragen Biotech. OneCrop increases crop yields through a degradable mulch film that stores soil moisture and increases soil temperature, while Terragen Biotech uses microorganisms to promote plant and animal health.
The remaining participants are Israel’s Amai Proteins, Japan’s Bioworks Corporation and Taiwan’s Green Acres.
Amai Proteins produces sweet proteins as sugar substitutes, by taking sweet proteins found along the equatorial belt and applying computational protein design and biotechnology to adapt the proteins to the mass food market.
Bioworks Corporation develops a plant-based bioplastic additive to produce strengthened polylactic acid (PLA) to enhance mechanical and thermal properties, while ensuring that PLA remains 100% biodegradable at the same time.
Green Acres combines Traditional Chinese Medicine and scientific approach to improve the immunity of livestock, thus eliminating the usage of antibiotics, which has already seen proven results in poultry.