ASEAN Focus: Palm oil traceability, sesame milk, insect-based snacks and more feature in our round-up

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Palm oil traceability, sesame milk, insect-based snacks and more feature in this edition of ASEAN Focus. ©Getty Images
Palm oil traceability, sesame milk, insect-based snacks and more feature in this edition of ASEAN Focus. ©Getty Images

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Palm oil traceability, sesame milk, insect-based snacks and more feature in this edition of ASEAN Focus.

‘No sustainability without traceability’: Palm oil giant stresses value of supply chain knowledge for future success

Indonesia-based palm oil heavyweight Golden Agri-Resources (GAR) has highlighted the importance of sparing no cost in implementing traceability technology, in order to achieve greater commercial gain further down the line.

GAR achieved 96% overall supply chain traceability of its palm oil sources, which is of high significance to the food and beverage industry as it is the world’s second-largest integrated palm oil firm and supplies palm oil to many big food and beverage brands.

“Times have changed and today consumers are very careful about what goes into their foods, leading the manufacturers very keen to have information to provide to them on sustainability and traceability credentials,”​ GAR Chief Sustainability and Communications Officer Anita Neville told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Innovation splurge: Thailand’s Sesamilk on dairy alternative expansion and calls for government SME support

Thai firm Sesamilk is planning a major portfolio expansion for its dairy alternative products, whilst also calling for the government to provide more taxation and financial support for SMEs to accelerate growth.

When we last spoke to Sesamilk last year, the Thai firm had just started with its exports to markets such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau and Vietnam based on just two products – white and black sesame milk.

Less than two years on, it has expanded its reach into several more markets such as Singapore, Malaysia and the United States, and is now working on significantly expanding its product portfolio in order to cater to even more consumers and markets.

“We are a specialist in sesame and do not intend to change this, so our new product development will be focused on a more vertical path,”​ Sesamilk CEO Siripen Suntornmonkongsri told FoodNavigator-Asia​ at the recent Thaifex-Anuga Asia 2022 trade show.

Cricket challenges: Can format innovation help Asia’s insect-based snack sector go global?

Thailand insect-based brand Cric-Co believes that there is a large potential market for insect-based snacks both within its home market and also in international ones, but it is vital that they are in formats that resonate with mainstream consumers.

Although entomophagy - or insect consumption – is known to be part of many traditional diets in various South East Asian markets, this mostly remains limited to frying the whole insect and selling these at roadside stalls, with little opportunities for branding or appealing to a wider, more modern audience as a mainstream food product.

Home economics: Rising ingredient prices prompt More Meat to create pioneering RTC meat alternatives

Alternative meat firm More Meat has cited rising local food ingredient prices and the prevention of food waste as major drivers behind the creation of its ready-to-cook (RTC) range, a format that is still at the early stages of growth within Thailand’s plant-based sector.

In this episode of the FNA Trailblazers podcast, we speak to Co-Founder and CEO of Thailand’s More Meat, Kanwra Tanachotevorapong (Minnie). More Meat is best-known for having revolutionized the use of splitgill mushrooms, a local native mushroom species that grows on rubber trees, into meat alternatives.

Double trouble: Asian women bearing the brunt of double burden of malnutrition – The Lancet

Women in seven South and South East Asian countries urgently need nutritional intervention and monitoring to battle the double burden of malnutrition (DBM).

These findings were highlighted in a study titled “Geographical and socioeconomic inequalities in the double burden of malnutrition among women in Southeast Asia: A population-based study” ​published in the journal The Lancet Regional Health – Southeast Asia.

“DBM is of particular concern among women of reproductive age because it imparts multiple long-term adverse health consequences to individuals, societies, and health care systems,"​ said the researchers.

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