Alt Protein Watch: Asia as cultured seafood epicentre, new mealworm protein markets, plant-based wagyu in ASEAN and more feature in our roundup

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Asia as cultured seafood epicentre, new mealworm protein markets, plant-based wagyu in ASEAN and more feature in this edition of Alt Protein Focus. ©Getty Images
Asia as cultured seafood epicentre, new mealworm protein markets, plant-based wagyu in ASEAN and more feature in this edition of Alt Protein Focus. ©Getty Images

Related tags: alternative protein, cultured seafood, cultured meat, plant-based, Insect protein

Asia as cultured seafood epicentre, new mealworm protein markets, plant-based wagyu in ASEAN and more feature in this edition of Alt Protein Focus.

Culture club: Why Asia will become epicentre for cultured seafood sector - WATCH Avant and BlueNalu

Experts from cultured seafood pioneers Avant and BlueNalu have revealed why Asia will become the epicentre of the rapidly rising sector, with the CEOs of both companies sharing their exclusive insights in our brand new FNA InnovATE video series.

Asia is the world’s largest consumer of protein and particularly of seafood, eating some three to five times the per capita consumption of seafood in North America or Europe. This voracious appetite for seafood has led to many experts sounding alarm bells about a rapidly widening gap between seafood supply and demand.

Hoping to plug this gap are cultured seafood pioneering firms such as Avant and BlueNalu, which both have a deep interest in Asia as a major market for growth due to cuisine, culture, demand and an overall necessity due to a vulnerable supply chain.

‘Insects the new sushi’: Ÿnsect sees Japan and Korea as attractive markets for mealworm protein

French insect protein company Ÿnsect is seeking to enter the Japanese and Korean markets after securing success in a national trade contest and signing a high-profile research partnership.

The firm was founded in 2011, and breeds Buffalo and Molitor mealworms for protein applications in human food and supplements, fish feed, pet food, as well as plant fertiliser. It currently operates a factory in France for its animal nutrition and fertiliser business and another facility in the Netherlands for human nutrition.

We focus on mealworm because it is easier to industrialise compared to other insects. Mealworms also have a high protein content of about 72% in powder and have a low fat content, whereas beef or chicken can give about 25 to 30% protein​,” said Bruno Grandsard, strategy committee member supporting Ÿnsect’s global development.

Way to go for ‘Waygu’: World-first plant-based wagyu brand details SEA expansion drive

The world’s first plant-based alternative wagyu brand Waygu has detailed how it plans to expand across South East Asia, after close to a year of research to ensure compatibility with local taste buds.

Waygu was launched in 2020 to mixed reactions from the food industry in Japan, but the brand – operated by Canadian firm Top Tier Foods – has since succeeded in partnering with an international consortium of industry partners and securing US$7.6mn in funding to expand its plant-based wagyu product line.

Top Tier Foods President Blair Bullus said ​that the partnership and funding aim to expand the variety and availability of Waygu into both European and APAC markets.

“This project aims to build on the success of our widely acclaimed Waygu line by developing a suite of alternatives to wagyu beef, widely considered the world’s best tasting beef,”​ he said.

Indonesia’s BRIN develops solution to turn trash fish into raw material for cultured meat sector

Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) has developed a solution to turn fish waste into protein hydrolysate, a raw material that can be used to manufacture peptone for the cultured meat sector.

Cultured meat companies use microbial growth media to provide cells with nutrition, with peptone supplying the nitrogen for organisms to grow.

Currently, cultured meat companies use peptone derived from animal meat for its growth media, but the researchers at BRIN think using fish waste can be a less costly process, offer a better nutritional profile in terms of higher protein and amino acid, and create a higher value ingredient.

Animal-free hits: The Top 10 APAC alternative protein stories in 2021

We bring you the top 10 most-read alternative protein stories from the food and beverage industry in 2021, featuring updates on product launches and regulatory updates for plant-based meat, cultured meat, plant-based dairy and more.

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