Last week, Shiok Meats made history.
Based in Singapore, Shiok Meats is the first cell-based meat company in Southeast Asia. Founded by Sandhya Sriram and Ka Yi Ling, Shiok Meats plans to produce cell-based seafood, like shrimp and other crustaceans, using cellular agriculture.
And last week, Shiok Meats showcased the first ever cell-based shrimp dumpling at the Disruption in Food and Sustainability Summit in Singapore.
Co-founders Sandhya Sriram and Ka Yi Ling presented their dumplings alongside the Good Food Institute’s Managing Director of Asia Pacific, Elaine Siu, and advisers John Cheng of Innovate 360 and Henry Soesanto, the CEO of Monde Nissin.
The advisers and Elaine Siu each tried one of the dumplings.
They all gave a thumbs up.
When Ka Yi Ling took the remaining dumplings out of the steamer, she invited everyone to take a whiff of cell-based shrimp dumplings.
They smelled exactly like shrimp dumplings. Then again, they are shrimp dumplings.
The use of cellular agriculture in the seafood sector is a massive opportunity to improve the current system, particularly with shrimp aquaculture farming. In many parts of Asia, shrimps are farmed in aquaculture where they are exposed to excess antibiotics and hormones.
The overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture is already a growing global crisis. A recent Canadian study found that 17% of shrimp imports, mainly coming from Asia, contained bacteria that were resistant to at least one type of antibiotic.
If produced in a sterile environment, cellular agriculture (or, in this case, cellular aquaculture) offers a way to produce cell-based shrimp without requiring antibiotics. Without animals.
While Shiok Meats offers a sustainable solution, Sandhya Sriram shared that the cost of producing 8 cell-based shrimp dumplings was $5,000. There is still quite time before their cell-based shrimp comes to market.
Alongside showcasing the first cell-based shrimp product, it’s been a busy few months for Shiok Meats. In March, Shiok Meats announced that they were a part of the Y Combinator winter class of 2019. Y Combinator is a leading accelerator program for early stage startups, and it is promising that Shiok Meats became the first cell-based meat company to be accepted into the program.
As part of the Y Combinator deal, Shiok Meats received an investment of $150,000. They also shared that the startup completed its pre-seed financing round of $500,000 in January 2019. The round of funding included 2 VCs and 2 angel investors, including Wild Earth CEO and co-founder Ryan Bethencourt.
My name is Ahmed Khan, and I am the Editor of CellAgri. Please subscribe to my email newsletter at www.cell.ag to get the latest research and news about cellular agriculture, which I share exclusively with my email subscribers. We are regularly tweeting out interesting articles and thoughts via twitter @Cellagritech