Start-up Spotlight: South Korea's Seawith, Australia's Deliciou, Singapore's Angie's Tempeh and more feature in our round-up
Three is the magic number: South Korea’s Seawith targets cultured steak at US$3/kg by 2030
South Korean food technology firm Seawith is planning to launched a lab-grown steak in two years and aims to bring prices down to as low as US$3 per kg by 2030.
Seawith already made waves in the food industry several years back after it developed low-iodine seaweed Yo.od to target consumers with low iodine resistance and high iodine sensitivity, such as consumers in western markets who do not consume seaweed regularly, or thyroid patients.
This product won Seawith multiple awards in South Korea, and now the firm is hoping to do one better by developing the country’s first cultured steak, again using technology based on algae and seaweed.
“Our cultured meat technology is different as we harvest this from the sea – the scaffolding we have developed is based on seaweed, so as to hold the bovine cells that will grow into the steak as well as allow nutrients to penetrate deeper into the resulting tissue culture, which can make cultured meat cuts thicker than 1cm,” Seawith Chief Technology Officer Heejae Lee told FoodNaviagator-Asia.
Deliciou-s bite: Shark Tank alumni sets sights on China with first shelf-stable plant-based meats after cross-country supermarket success
Australia-based Deliciou has its eye on China and other Asian markets with its market-first shelf-stable plant-based meat products after successful launches in both Australia’s Coles and Woolworths and US’ Whole Foods supermarkets.
Delicious first came into the public eye in 2017 when CEO Kjetil Hansen went on reality television show Shark Tank Australia and emerged with a successful A$300,000 (US$227,201) deal for his bacon-flavoured seasoning to ‘make anything taste like bacon’.
Four years on, Deliciou has a total of 13 seasonings, five of which are bacon-based and 10 others from cheese to chipotle, all of which are doing well and being ranged in major supermarkets in both Australia and the United States.
“Whole Foods is our most recent supermarket entry and we’re in over 400 stores, and in Australia we’re in both Coles and Woolworths nationwide so I expect we now cover about 70% of the market in terms of supermarket presence,” Hansen told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Reinventing tempeh: Singapore’s Angie’s Tempeh outlines R&D and retail ambitions on back of funding boost
Singapore-based Angie’s Tempeh is exploring the idea of developing Asian foods such as dim sum with tempeh along with expanding into the ready-to-eat space, as part of its plan to tap into mainstream retail channels after receiving a major funding boost.
The company started selling raw, unflavoured tempeh on its online store in 2020, but is now looking to increase its product range.
“We believe that tempeh has the right kind of texture, and it can absorb a lot of flavours. With R&D, we can make some kind of filling for dumplings,” Angeline Leong, co-founder of Angie’s Tempeh told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Modernising India’s cold chain: New digitised logistics system looks to wine, meat and veg after successful fruits run
Indian farm-to-fork startup Superplum is looking to expand its digitised cold chain logistics system to wine and other temperature-sensitive products after successfully making cross-country transportations of fruits previously not deliverable by land.
India’s cold chain logistics industry is notorious for being limited and underdeveloped due to both the size of the country as well as technological hindrances, which has led to severe challenges getting food products and fresh produce in particular across long distances if delivered by land.
“A previous government study put the shortage of cold chain at something like 97%, and what cold chain does exist, which is not a lot, is largely catering to FMCG products such as ice cream, chocolates and milk,” Superplum Founder and CEO Shobhit Gupta told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“Only a very small portion of this, less than 2%, is for fresh produce such as fruits so essentially cold chain for fresh produce is miniscule and virtually nonexistent, but the projected market size of fresh produce in India is [huge at] US$300bn.”
Fungi kingdom: Thailand’s Mushroom World on how edible and medicinal products could alleviate food security concerns
Thailand’s Mushroom World is hoping to alleviate food security concerns with its range of edible and medicinal mushroom products, riding on the plant-based protein and sustainability trends.
Based in Phuket, Thailand, the company grows edible and medicinal mushrooms for sale, operates an academy, a hospitality division, as well as a sustainability division.
With food insecurity issues worldwide, many people are turning to a plant-based diet. Founder William Leong said mushrooms are good source of protein and have sustainability benefits, since it can operate in a ‘close loop system’ with by-products used for packaging.
“I hope to close up the bio loop, whereby we will either recycle the end product to reproduce again, or we will use it to manufacture usable packaging. Eventually, nothing will be thrown away.”