Lab-grown meat has a long way to go before mainstream acceptance in Singapore, experts say

Lab-grown meat has a long way to go before mainstream acceptance in Singapore, experts say

SINGAPORE: It was June 2022, and the lab- developed beef industry looked like it had a sizzling potential. &nbsp,

The largest planted chicken meat hospital in Asia broke ground in Singapore, with a 30, 000 square ft advanced at Bedok Food City, set to make “tens of thousands of pounds” of foods a year. &nbsp,

US-based Eat Merely, the company behind this outrageous opportunity, had plans to sell lab-grown chicken meat under the name Great Meat. &nbsp,

At the breakthrough service, Eat Only representatives from Singapore included Grace Fu, the Minister for Sustainability, and other ministers.

Indeed, in October 2022, the government announced it had set aside fresh funding of S$ 165 million ( US$ 122 million ) to accelerate R&amp, D in sustainable urban food production, future foods, and food safety science and innovation. &nbsp,

This was above the S$ 144 million of analysis money that was initially provided in 2020. &nbsp,

The first nation to review the purchase of lab-grown flesh was Singapore, with Huber’s Butchery in Dempsey Hill becoming the only restaurant in the world that sold lab-grown meat in the beginning of 2023. &nbsp,

However, it seems as though the economy is sluggishing in just two short years. &nbsp,

According to the Straits Times, Eat Only suspended its lab-grown beef production at the Bedok service in March of this year. The solution was discontinued by Huber’s Butchery in December of last year.

It was reported that Shiok Meats and Umami Bioworks, both of which are lab-grown shrimp, were merging in Singapore in the same month. &nbsp,

The market is sluggish not just in this area. The reduction of the sector was described in a February New York Times article, which had a promising beginning with investors investing more than US$ 3 billion between 2016 and 2022. &nbsp,

The entire sector is in jeopardy due to a combination of unrealistic optimism from investors and the realization that the science behind the product could n’t compete with consumer demand for lower prices and higher production volumes. &nbsp,

Sandhya Sriram, co-founder of Shiok Meats, wrote an emotive LinkedIn post in Singapore last May about the agonizing process of allowing 50 % of her team leave in 2023, and the online abuse she endured as a result. &nbsp,

She described the support investors and the media had for her designed lab-grown crab meat, such as crab and lobster, but her business, like many other planted meat companies, quickly encountered the ongoing challenge of scaling manufacturing.

She told CNA that while this challenge continues to annoy her business, it has more confidence in overcoming it now that Umami Bioworks has been combined. &nbsp,

Singapore continues to be a desirable location for cultivated meat startups, according to the Singapore Food Agency ( SFA ), the statutory board governing food safety and security. &nbsp,

Startups are encouraged to establish their R&D and pilot manufacturing in Singapore thanks to our proximity to the large Asian market and the robust food safety regulatory system, according to SFA in a joint response to CNA’s queries from Enterprise Singapore and the Economic Development Board. &nbsp,

The favorable setting allows them to test their technology and demonstrate the viability of their goods.

Despite the challenges, some cultivated meat firms are not backing down. On Wednesday ( May 15 ), Eat Just announced that it would begin selling hybrid meat made with only 3 percent lab-grown chicken and a lower-cost formulation.

According to one expert, the successful scaling and production of lab-grown meat may be necessary because the meat’s current production may not be sustainable for generations to come.

The National University of Singapore ( NUS) Institute for Health Innovation and Technology’s Associate Professor Alfredo Franco-Obregon stated that the livestock industry is not sustainable and that we must acknowledge this at some point. As a result, this science will advance once ( lab-grown meat ) is widely accepted.

Assoc Prof Franco Obregon, who is in his 60s, said this mainstream acceptance may not even happen in his lifetime, but he thinks it is inevitable. &nbsp,

” It will eventually be realised, because of the urgency of it”. &nbsp,


Lab-grown meat producers in this country remain cautiously optimistic and believe that the cultivated meat industry’s heyday is yet to come. &nbsp,

Asked about their pause in production, a spokesperson from Eat Just, which the Good Meat label is under, said that it is still business as usual. &nbsp,

The pause is part of our regular operations, according to Ms. Carrie Kabat, director of global communications at Eat Just, who said:” We began producing and serving in Singapore in 2020. We produce and pause, produce and pause”.

She said this is a” campaign- style approach” to producing lab- grown meat. &nbsp,

Eat Just’s hybrid meat consisting of 3 per cent cultivated chicken meat went on sale at Huber’s Butchery on Thursday, priced at S$ 7.20 for a&nbsp, 120g package. &nbsp,

According to Ms. Kabat, Eat Just will produce three times more product than any previous year, which is roughly ten times what the rest of the cultivated meat industry has produced so far.