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Singapore receives novel food dossier from EU cultivated chicken start-up

Singapore receives novel food dossier from EU cultivated chicken start-up alternative protein, alternative proteins, cell cultured meat, Cultivated meat, fish and savoury ingredients, food safety, food tech, Innovation and NPD, meat, plant-based, Policy, Proteins, Singapore, Start-ups and disruptors, Sustainability Food and Beverage Business Vital Meat

The French cultivated chicken start-up, Vital Meat, could see its products achieve pre-marketing authorization in Singapore, following a recent submission for novel food regulatory approval with the SFA. The company believes it may be the first European cultivated meat company approved in Singapore. The company was founded in late 2018 by Frederick Grimaud and Etienne Duthoit. It makes cultivated chicken ingredients from avian cells. This ingredient, known as ‘Vital Chicken’, is produced by extracting cells from fertilized chickens and nurturing them with growth media in a bioreactor. The final product is derived from this process, and it is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids, as well as vitamin B12 and iron. Vital Chicken is intended to be used as a B2B ingredient that can be combined with plant-based ingredients to provide an authentic poultry taste in hybrid products. This approach has been well-received by renowned chefs, such as Jean Marie Baudic and Singaporean chef Neo JunHao.

The company decided to seek novel food approval in Singapore first due to the country’s rigorous yet welcoming environment. The application process is a major undertaking that involves demonstrating the safety, stability, and scalability of the production process. Vital Meat believes that the SFA’s open dialogue with regulatory authorities is an effective and efficient system that can help ensure the safety of new food products and production processes. To date, regulatory approval for cultivated meat has only been granted to two companies and two jurisdictions, including those in Singapore and the US. Vital Meat feels that Singapore’s regulatory environment makes it a logical choice for their first submission, given the country’s focus on increasing food self-sufficiency and its openness to innovation.

Vital Meat’s decision to submit a novel food dossier to the SFA was also influenced by the SFA’s reputation for diligently assessing cultivated meat dossiers. The company recognizes the importance of doing things right and is focusing on its launch plan in Singapore. Vital Meat acknowledges that at least one other European company may have filed a cultivated meat dossier with the SFA, but it is unclear whether it is for chicken.

In conjunction with its submission for approval, Vital Meat has formed a partnership with French cell culture media supplier Biowest to strengthen its production. Biowest’s customised, serum-free media has helped the company achieve commercial scalability. The partnership has played a crucial role in enabling Vital Meat to scale up production and produce kilos of its Vital Chicken ingredient.

While Vital Meat focuses on its launch plan in Singapore, it has its eye on other geographies as well. However, the company is committed to taking things one step at a time and doing them right. This cautious approach reflects Vital Meat’s dedication to providing innovative and sustainable culinary solutions that meet the needs of chefs and food companies.

Overall, the partnership with Biowest and the submission for novel food regulatory approval represents important milestones for Vital Meat as it seeks to make its mark in the cultivated meat industry.

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