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22nd September 2021  Editorial by: newprotein staff writer

Singapore Food Authority Grants Esco Aster License to Produce Cultivated Chicken

We still don’t’ know what the next country will be to approve commercialisation of cultivated meat after Singapore (the candidates are Israel, Quatar and the US, read more about it here and here). In the meantime, however, the Southeast Asian country recorded another regulatory milestone.

At the end of July, the SFA (Singapore Food Agency) granted Esco Aster a license for manufacturing cultured animal cells.

Esco Aster is a contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) providing bioprocessing platforms and services to pharmaceutical, cosmetics and food companies. The company is a subsidiary of the Esco Lifesciences group, a supplier of bioprocessing tools and associated platform.

SFA's greenlight is for the same cultivated chicken that was approved last December. The license was granted to Esco Aster after an assessment of its premises, systems, and products.

Expanding to the cultivated food sector was a recent strategic move for the group. "Working in partnership with the burgeoning novel food ecosystem here in Singapore, we are further expanding our facilities to a target of 50,000L as well as scaling up further final food product manufacturing especially for hybrid products," said Xiangliang Lin, CEO of Esco Aster and Deputy CEO of Esco Lifesciences Group.

Esco Aster helps early-stage companies in their process development from producing small batches as part of R&D, to scaling operations. Its platform for cultivated meat production is called AsterMavors and provides end-to-end services such as: creation of cell lines from primary tissues, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), master and working cell bank, media development, in-process monitoring, and quality control on the final identity and impurity of cultivated animal cells for food consumption.

Until recently, Eat Just was the only company allowed to sell cultivated meat in Singapore (and in the rest of the world too). Its chicken nuggets are available for home delivery through Foodpanda, or at the 1880 restaurant for $23. This second license builds the foundation for a real cultivated meat market in Singapore, with more competition, more products, and lower prices.

To learn more about Esco Aster, visit their website

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Date Published: 22nd September 2021

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