Start-up Spotlight: Black Bag Roasters, DAIZ, Swiftlet and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

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Black Bag Roasters, DAIZ, Swiftlet and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight. ©Getty Images
Black Bag Roasters, DAIZ, Swiftlet and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight. ©Getty Images

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Black Bag Roasters, DAIZ, Swiftlet and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight.

Appetite for Australian coffee: Black Bag Roasters’ new plant revs up capacity for South East Asian expansion

The facility gives Black Bag Roasters the ability to roast up to 300 tonnes of coffee beans per week and easy access to the city’s port, facilitating the export process.

Located at Truganina, a suburb in Melbourne, Australia, the plant houses a 600kg Italian-made Brambati roaster, which is fitted with a catalytic converter that significantly reduces greenhouse gases emitted during the roasting process.

“With this state-of-the-art production centre and the additional capacity, it allows us to explore new business opportunities in South East Asia (SEA). We are now able to provide an end-to-end solution and get a product to market within 16 weeks,” ​Lance Brown, Director of Sales at Black Bag Roasters, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Japan foodtech firm DAIZ outlines ambitions to extend global reach for meat alternatives

Japanese food tech company DAIZ is accelerating efforts to broaden its portfolio of meat-alternative applications, which have already been adopted by a number of high-profile domestic players.

The firm was speaking following the announcement of a partnership with Roquette, which seeks to combine the latter’s experience in the research and production of plant-based ingredients with DAIZ’s capabilities in meat-alternative applications.

Apart from its expertise in pea-based proteins, Roquette has the market intelligence and a network of application centres around the world that DAIZ can tap into. Likewise, DAIZ will bring to the table our proprietary technology for seed germination. Together, we will elevate innovation efforts to produce high-quality meat alternatives,” ​Haruka Ideguchi from DAIZ’s public relations department told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Making sugar reduction mainstream: Swiftlet sees snacking format as gateway to mass market

Swiftlet believes that developing everyday sugar-reduced food products such as snacks are a key gateway to integrate sugar reduction into APAC consumers’ daily diets.

Swiftlet, which was acquired by Vietnamese conglomerate Senix last year, is expanding beyond its initial focus on a direct sugar replacement to the development of food and beverage products such as snacks and beverages.

According to Swiftlet R&D Lead Minh Le, this is because the firm’s research has shown that many consumers in the Asian market still see sugar replacement or reduction as a more premium endeavour, and it wishes to break beyond this concept.

“In APAC and particularly South East Asia, we’re still seeing that sugar reduction is viewed as an premium or A Plus sort of application, so we had to release our products into the premium product category in order to target the right audience here,”​ Le told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Sustainable strawberries: Singrow debuts commercial application of climate-resilient variety via precision ag-tech

Singapore-based agritech firm Singrow has launched what it claims is the world’s first climate-resilient strawberry variety developed by genomics technology, with wider applications in other crops and functional foods underway.

Genomics technology involves genome sequencing and annotation, and gene adaption and application, which culminate in the development of new and efficient breeding methods, as well as novel crop varieties.

“Understanding the function of genes enables us to find the most suitable growing condition to trigger gene expression. It also allows us to design a precision agriculture protocol to better grow economically important crops,” ​Dr Bao Shengjie, CEO and chief scientist of Singrow, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Going bananas? Why Indian firm Beyond Snack believes banana chips can peel off potato market

Indian firm Beyond Snack has mapped out expansion plans both in the country and globally as part of an ambitious move to see banana chips outstrip sales of potato-based products.

According to Beyond Snack, the global banana chips market could be worth a minimum of US$10bn in the next five to eight years if industry players “do the game right”.

“At the moment, potato chips are still king in the savoury snacks category. But globally, we see that potato-chip sales are in the early stages of decline due to growing negative sentiment. People are on the lookout for alternatives to potato chips, and banana chips have great potential because they are considered to be healthier.

“Potato chips had transited from an unorganised to an organised sector many years ago. What we are working towards is to revolutionise the banana chips sector in a similar way, and turn it into one of the biggest savoury snack categories around the world,” ​Manas Madhu, founder of Beyond Snack, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

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