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Singapore Food Agency Grants ScaleUp Bio Food Production Licence, Boosting Global Fermentation Capabilities

May 2024

Latest News - Corporate Happenings

Singapore Food Agency Grants ScaleUp Bio Food Production Licence, Boosting Global Fermentation Capabilities

May 2024

In a significant development for the food technology sector, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has granted a food production licence to ScaleUp Bio’s commercial-scale facility for submerged- and precision-fermented ingredients. This approval allows ScaleUp Bio to operate as a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), enabling food tech startups to produce fermentation-derived ingredients on an industrial scale.

A Joint Venture for Food Innovation

ScaleUp Bio, a joint venture between Nurasa (the food innovation platform of state-owned investment firm Temasek) and global nutrition giant ADM, now joins the ranks of a select few CDMOs globally approved as a food production facility. Located in Tuas, a high-tech manufacturing district in west Singapore, the newly opened 2,300 sq m facility boasts fermentation and downstream processing capacities of up to 10,000 litres. This facility is poised to significantly advance the production capabilities for food tech startups globally.

Supporting a Thriving Food Tech Ecosystem

Singapore is rapidly emerging as a global hub for food technology. The city-state hosts over 25 non-local companies engaged in R&D and business development and is home to nearly a quarter of all alternative protein startups in the Asia-Pacific region. ScaleUp Bio’s new facility is expected to further bolster this vibrant ecosystem by providing essential infrastructure and support to fermentation companies looking to scale up their operations.

Ensuring Quality and Safety

Announced in October 2022, the facility not only offers extensive fermentation capabilities but also houses innovation hubs and technical specialists dedicated to quality control and safe production standards. The SFA’s stringent regulations ensure that the facility meets high standards for food safety production, infrastructure, hygiene, and operational excellence.

“ScaleUp Bio’s value proposition offers anyone with the next best concept in food to bring that idea to reality, and to pilot stage commercial production in Singapore, backed by a blue-chip corporate ecosystem of support,” said ScaleUp Bio CEO Francisco Codoñer. “We are deeply grateful to SFA for this milestone, and we are ready to go.”

Initial Clients and Future Prospects

ScaleUp Bio has already secured its first clients, including Australia’s Nourish Ingredients, which produces precision-fermented fats for meat and dairy analogues. Nourish Ingredients will utilize the facility’s 10,000-litre fermentation and 100-litre thermal processing capacities to support its growth in Asia. The company’s Tastilux fat is currently undergoing regulatory approval by the SFA.

Additional letters of intent have been signed with C16 Biosciences, Ultimeat, and Allium Bio, indicating a strong interest from diverse players in the food tech industry.

Expanding Capabilities with Twin Facilities

Complementing this commercial-scale facility is ScaleUp Bio’s Fermentation Joint Lab at Nurasa’s Food Tech Innovation Centre (FTIC), a 3,840 sq m space also located in Singapore. Developed with the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR), this lab provides bioreactors with capacities up to 100 litres, supporting startups from R&D to pilot scale production.

This twin facility approach underscores ScaleUp Bio’s commitment to fostering innovation and excellence in the fermentation sector. The Fermentation Joint Lab will also host companies like Allozymes, Algrow Biosciences, Terra Bioindustries, and Argento Labs, facilitating their development of novel biotechnologies and sustainable food solutions.

A Collaborative Ecosystem for Sustainable Food Solutions

Gary McGuigan, ADM’s Asia-Pacific president, emphasized the significance of this joint venture in addressing Asia’s unique food needs. “ScaleUp Bio stands as a significant joint venture with Temasek’s Nurasa, demonstrating our commitment to meeting Asia’s unique food needs,” he said. “We look forward to continuing our support for ScaleUp Bio and aspiring food-tech companies as we collectively pave the way for a more sustainable food system.”

Francisco Codoñer highlighted the global importance of these facilities, stating, “From R&D to pilot scale, our fermentation expertise ensures excellence. Transitioning from bench to market? Our collaborative ecosystem – including parent and sister companies, research institutions, and industry partners – offers guidance.”

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