S’pore startup Shiok Meats acquires clean red meat company Gaia Foods

S’pore startup Shiok Meats acquires clean red meat company Gaia Foods

According to Technology in Asia, Shiok Meats has acquired a stake of more than 90% in Gaia Foods for an undisclosed sum.

Gaia Foods is the first clean red meat company in Southeast Asia to produce meat using stem cell technology.

Basically, it develops cellular cuts of pork, beef and lamb; It does so by growing animal cells on plant-based scaffolds or thin surfaces, so that it mimics the texture of cuts of meat rather than minced meat.

It also controls all the materials needed to produce the meat to ensure that it does not contain antibiotics or other contaminants.

The company’s goal is to produce meat in a cleaner, greener, and more animal-friendly way that people can consume without any guilt.

The deal will help Shiok Meats add a variety of red meat products to its existing menu of cell-based crustacean products such as shrimp, lobster, crab, prawn and crawfish.

Raised about $ 30 million in funding to date.

Cell-based Siew may / Image Credit: Shiok Meats

This July, Shiok Meats announced that it had almost finished building an undisclosed bridge round of funding from Woowa Brothers, a Seoul-based food delivery company. The latest round brought Shiok Meats’ total funding to around $ 30 million to date.

Shiok Meats was founded in 2018 by Sandhya Sriram and Ka Yi Ling, and stands out from other cell-based meat production companies due to its proprietary technology that isolates shrimp, lobster, and crab stem cells; they are the first company in power to do this for cell-based production.

Once the stem cells are harvested, the shrimp, lobster and crab meats are grown in nutrient-rich conditions, similar to those in a greenhouse.

After four to six weeks, the cell-based shellfish is exactly the same as its conventional counterpart, but more sustainable, cleaner, and nutritious. Shiok’s patent-pending technology can grow crustaceans four times faster than conventional production.

Singapore has recently emerged as the Asia foodtech hub, in large part thanks to strong government support in the industry.

According to the Asia Alternative Protein Industry Report, several leading startups in the field of food technology (foodtech) are based in Singapore. This includes companies in growing sectors such as cellular agriculture and whole plant food optimization.

The emerging food technology ecosystem has been driven largely by government support and funding. Singapore aims to produce nearly a third of the food it needs by 2030, and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has set a goal, called 30 to 30, of producing 30 percent of it. Singapore’s nutritional needs for 2030.

“The alternative protein space is rapidly evolving and we are very excited to collaborate and integrate with Gaia Foods.” saying Dr. Sandhya Sriram, CEO and Co-Founder of Shiok Meats.

“With seafood and red meat in our range of offerings and the recent fundraising from strategic investors, we are ready to move towards commercialization.”

Featured Image Credit: Shiok Meats / Gaia Foods / Bloomberg