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Agri-tech firm used circuit breaker period to recharge

Dr Sandhya Sriram is the co-founder and chief executive of Shiok Meats, which launched its lab-grown shrimp dumplings in March last year.
Dr Sandhya Sriram is the co-founder and chief executive of Shiok Meats, which launched its lab-grown shrimp dumplings in March last year.LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE PHOTO

Local agri-tech company Shiok Meats may have been at minimal operations during the circuit breaker period, but it has used the time to recharge as it works towards commercialisation.

Dr Sandhya Sriram, co-founder and chief executive of Shiok Meats, said that with the coronavirus pandemic putting a strain on global supply chains, consumers are thinking more about food safety and sources of food.

The company, which launched its lab-grown shrimp dumplings in March last year, is taking the opportunity to educate people more on alternative proteins and cell-based seafood options, which are better for humans, animals and the environment, she said.

The two-year-old start-up aims to introduce alternative proteins, such as crab and lobster grown in food manufacturing facilities, to restaurants in the next two years.

"The circuit breaker period allowed our scientists to read and learn more, while the business team worked on consumer education and business strategies," Dr Sandhya said.

But now that Singapore has entered phase one of its reopening, the company, which is based at food incubator Innovate 360 and has 11 employees, is back in full swing, and is eagerly innovating as it seeks to take its alternative proteins mainstream.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2020, with the headline 'Agri-tech firm used circuit breaker period to recharge'. Subscribe