Boost for TCM companies with Temasek Polytechnic tie-up

SINGAPORE - Your grandmother might swear that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) works, and now she will have proof - Temasek Polytechnic is working with local TCM companies to help validate their products using Western scientific methods.

The hope is to make these products more palatable for a new generation of consumers who are more familiar with Western standards, and even market them overseas.

For example, experts at the polytechnic can identify the ingredients that make a particular concoction good for the liver, or check if a traditional herb contains beneficial antioxidants.

The polytechnic showcased some of its capabilities at its annual Applied Science Show on Wednesday (Oct 5), which drew industry players.

"A lot of capabilities reside in the polytechnic, both in the lecturers and in the equipment and facilities," said polytechnic principal and chief executive Peter Lam. " We want to tap on these capabilities to support economic growth, and help our companies to develop new intellectual properties or to enhance their productivity."

The polytechnic has been working with TCM companies for nearly a decade, but recently deepened its involvement in this sector with the opening of a Centre for Innovation for complementary health products in June.

Funded by Spring Singapore, the centre's work involves research into TCM, health supplements, and foods with healthy additives.