Man and child buying meat in supermarket

Singapore leads the future of food with world-first approval of cultured meat sales

Cultured meat, also known as “lab-grown meat” or “clean meat”, is built up from layers of animal muscle cells cultivated in a bioreactor. Since the debut of a proof-of-concept hamburger patty in 2013, it has increasingly come to the attention of potential consumers and investors. Although the technology of cell culture has been well developed in the medical field, the concept still faces several challenges in making a commercial product as an alternative to animal protein. One of these challenges is regulatory approval. 

This week, Singapore became the first country to overcome the regulatory hurdle facing cultured meat companies [Tech Crunch]. Singapore’s decision to take a leading role in regulating cell-based protein products should not come as a surprise. The city-state currently imports 90% of its food from over 170 countries. While Singapore cannot expect to be fully self-sufficient, they aim to supply 30% of the country’s nutrition needs through the Singapore Food Story R&D Program. The strategic policy will also put Singapore in a leading position in sustainable urban food production, bio-based protein production, and food safety science. 

“For a small island state like Singapore, the foray into lab-grown meat makes a lot of sense”, said Professor Paul Teng, Dean and Managing Director of National Institute of Education International from Singapore, in his commentary.

Professor Paul Teng, Supertrends Expert

For a small island state like Singapore, the foray into lab-grown meat makes a lot of sense.

While the US and Europe have layers of regulations on novel food (such as cultured meat), the Singapore Food Agency published detailed guidance on novel foods’ safety assessment in 2019. According to a media report, Eat Just received approval for its cell-cultured chicken after working with the Singapore Food Agency for about two years. 

With Singapore being the first to open the door, other countries in Asia, the US, and Europe are likely to quickly follow suit. Just days after Singapore’s big move, another news came from Asia that Avant Meats, a Hong Kong-based startup working on commercializing cultivated fish, received US$3.1 million in funding from investors, including China Venture Capital. 

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Stay in the know with the Supertrends Cultured Meat Report

Meat substitutes based on plants and other protein sources are rapidly gaining popularity, with many stores and supermarkets now featuring a section reserved for these foods. Many estimates suggest cultured meat could reach the shelves within a decade. As such, once it becomes widely available, Cultured Meat is poised to become the new billion-dollar industry. So how can you stay informed about and benefit from this innovative technology? The Supertrends Dynamic Report on cultured meat will provide you with a comprehensive analysis that provides insight into the key players, technologies, challenges, opportunities, as well as a glimpse into the future of this exciting field. Click here to find out more.

Avant Meats, Cultured Meat, Lab-grown Meat, Clean Meat, Eat Just, Paul Teng, Singapore, Singapore Food Agency, Singapore Food Story R&D Program, Supertrends Expert


Jiqing Hansen

Having worked passionately for 15+ years in Medicine, I felt that I yearned to do something a little bit different, something that satisfies my curiosity and creativity, maybe something that helps to inform me and others what our world will look like in the future. That's when I took on the challenge of being the editor & expert relationship manager at Supertrends. I love the fact that I can still be in touch with my academic background when I am trying to understand and reach out to the experts in the most exciting fields. I also love the diverse and enthusiastic team at Supertrends. The best of all, I get to have a peek into the future, and I am at the position of helping many others to get the opportunity to look into the future.

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