Local food manufacturers can now extend the shelf-life of products using an advanced technology known as high-pressure processing (HPP) without having to fork out huge sums to buy their own equipment.
The new HPP resource-sharing facility that officially opened yesterday allows firms to improve their capabilities in developing quality food products and better tap global market opportunities.
The initiative was set up by Enterprise Singapore, Warehouse Logistics Net Asia and Singapore Polytechnic's Food Innovation Resource Centre.
This public-private effort is the first in the pipeline of shared facilities that will be rolled out for the sector over the next three years in line with the Food Manufacturing Industry Transformation Map.
The HPP technology applies high pressure instead of heat or chemicals to food, allowing the nutritional qualities and taste to be retained while extending shelf-life by up to four times longer.
It is hoped that the ready access to HPP facilities will encourage local companies to adopt this technique, while costs can be reduced for those processing products overseas.
The high-pressure processing technology applies high pressure instead of heat or chemicals to food, allowing the nutritional qualities and taste to be retained while extending shelf-life by up to four times longer.
Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Sim Ann said at the opening ceremony: "This helps to accelerate the creation and commercialisation of new products, enabling our food companies to seize new growth opportunities."
Exports makes up more than 50 per cent of Singapore's food manufacturing sales, with steady growth due to "strong emphasis on food quality and safety", Ms Sim noted.
"To sustain this growth, we need to be steadfast in our efforts to differentiate ourselves through constant innovations - not only in product development, but also in new food processing and packaging techniques."
Five food companies have been using the facility for commercial production since its soft launch in February.
About 60 firms have conducted trials and more than 20 have indicated interest in carrying out production there.
Ms Sim noted that local processed meat manufacturer Golden Bridge Foods has benefited from using the facility.
It can now develop a range of clean label products with reduced artificial preservatives so the taste is retained while catering to consumer preferences for healthier choices.
Two masterclasses were organised last year to build up local expertise in the technology.
Around 100 professionals, managers, executives and technicians from more than 60 companies have attended, with more classes to be announced.