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Brief: Singapore’s NTU launches ‘first alt-protein university course’ in Asia Pacific

June 21, 2021

  • Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has approved what it claims is “the first alternative protein university course to be offered anywhere in Asia Pacific.”
  • The undergraduate course — titled ‘Future Foods – Introduction to Advanced Meat Alternatives’ — was developed in partnership with the Good Food Institute.
  • About 30 students from the Food Science & Technology program offered by NTU’s School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering are expected to enrol in the course when it commences in August, with participation opened up to students in other degree programs depending on interest.

Why it matters:

Students will learn the science behind cell-cultured meat, plant-based proteins, and fermentation, as well as the market opportunities and regulatory issues around them, NTU Food Science & Technology program director William Chen told The Straits Times.

Singapore has quickly built a reputation as the Asia-Pacific region’s foodtech hub – particularly with regards to alt-protein production. In addition to spawning its own animal-free startups like Next Gen Foods, Shiok Meats, and TurtleTree Labs, it’s attracting an increasing number of foreign players to its shores – with alt-dairy companies Oatly and Perfect Day setting up facilities in the city-state alongside major food and ag corporates like ADM,  Bühler, and Givaudan. Singapore also granted the world’s first regulatory approval for a cell-cultured meat product, clearing US startup Eat Just‘s lab-grown chicken nuggets for sale in the country last year.

To continue on this trajectory, Singaporean authorities have recognized the need to grow the requisite talent locally — and attract it from abroad — and NTU’s new alt-protein course could play a big part in that effort.

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