Eleven award winners demonstrate how food waste can be converted to higher value products that contribute back to the supply chain in a circular economy
Singapore, 29 September 2021 – A total of 11 award winners were recognised for their outstanding efforts in driving sustainability and closing the food resource loop through valorisation solutions at the first Food Resource Valorisation Awards (FVA), organised by the National Environment Agency (NEA).
2 The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations estimates that 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste is generated every year. When food is discarded, the resources used to grow, ship and prepare the food are squandered. The preferred way to manage food waste is to avoid generating it in the first place. Reducing food loss and waste can also strengthen our food security.
3 When food waste cannot be avoided, there is potential to turn it into valuable resources, thereby supporting a shift towards a circular economy.
Food Resource Valorisation Awards
4 Food resource valorisation refers to the conversion of food waste into valuable products and resources. For example, homogenous by-products and rejects from food processing and manufacturing, as well as mixed food waste from the food and beverage industry can be turned into products such as food products and animal feed. The latter is channelled back into the local food production chain and contributes to the economy. A diagram representing food resource valorisation can be found in ANNEX A. Apart from reducing the amount of food waste sent for disposal, food resource valorisation can potentially support the Singapore Food Agency’s (SFA) 30-by-30 goal.
5 The FVA was introduced to encourage and recognise the efforts in food resource valorisation solutions. The inaugural FVA was open to entities registered and/or based in Singapore, including companies that either adopt or offer food resource valorisation solutions.
6 Applicants were assessed on the technology and process adopted, the capacity and actual tonnage of food resources valorised, the value and quality of the output product, and the long-term viability of their projects and partnerships with other stakeholders.
7 There are two categories of awards:
- The Merit Award category is for projects operating on a commercial scale for a minimum of two years. Three companies, namely Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore, Bee Joo Industries, and Insectta, received the Merit Award.
- The Participation Award category is for projects that are in the pilot or R&D phase. Eight companies (A1 Environment Pte Ltd, Institute of Materials Research and Engineering-Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), CRUST Group, Ento Industries Pte Ltd, Insect Feed Technologies, Kosmode Health Singapore Pte Ltd, Otolith Enrichment, Singnergy Corporation Pte Ltd) received the Participation Award.
More information on the award winners can be found in ANNEX B. Details of the Evaluation Panel are in ANNEX C.
8 Mr Ram Bhaskar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Environmental Protection) and Director-General of Environmental Protection, NEA, said “We congratulate the winners of the inaugural Food Resource Valorisation Awards 2021. They have shown that it is possible to create products of value from residues that were once discarded. Such transformations are needed to reduce the environmental impact of food waste and for sustainability. The award winners are the role models that we hope will inspire more companies to adopt such solutions and come onboard Singapore’s journey towards Zero Waste and a circular economy for a greener Singapore.”
Food Waste Reduction as a Whole-of-Nation Effort
9 With the Zero Waste Masterplan, Singapore aims to achieve a 70 per cent overall recycling rate. Under the Singapore Green Plan 2030, we are frontloading this to achieve a 20 per cent reduction in waste-to-landfill per capita per day by 2026.
10 Food waste is one of the priority waste streams identified under Singapore’s Zero Waste Masterplan, with high generation tonnage but a low recycling rate. In 2020, 665 million kg of food waste was generated in Singapore, accounting for about 11 per cent of the total waste generated. However, only 19 per cent of the food waste was recycled. The rest of it was disposed of together with other general waste at Waste-to-Energy (WTE) plants for energy recovery.
11 Reducing food wastage, redistributing unsold or excess food, and recycling/treating food waste are important components of Singapore’s food waste management strategies. Therefore, food resource valorisation to extract value from food waste form a critical part of our journey in reducing food waste and towards a circular economy. NEA will continue to engage the people, private and public sectors to work together in reducing food waste in Singapore.
12 Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, said “Food waste is an important issue both globally and in Singapore. Innovative methods like food resource valorisation can strengthen Singapore’s resource resilience by closing the food loop, and drive Singapore’s transition towards a circular economy. The valorised products can also become agri-food inputs to contribute to Singapore’s vision of producing 30 per cent of our nutritional needs locally and sustainably by 2030.”
~~ End ~~
For more information, please submit your enquiries electronically via the Online Feedback Form or myENV mobile application. Alternatively, you contact us at 6225 5632.
Closing the Food Waste Loop
Food Resource Valorisation is about the conversion of food waste and residues, such as homogenous by-products, rejects and mixed food waste, into higher value products that are fed back to the supply chain.
In closing the food waste loop as part of a circular economy, food resource valorisation is a smaller and preferred loop. It extracts more value from food waste compared to other solutions which are more established in Singapore, such as anaerobic digestion to convert food waste into biogas, or aerobic digestion systems that convert food waste into non-potable water, compost, or liquid nutrient.
Profiles of Food Resource Valorisation Awards (FVA) 2021 Recipients
Merit Award Recipients (in alphabetical order)
Name of Recipient
About the Recipient
Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore (APB)
In APB, spent grains from the brewing process are fully repurposed to animal feed.
APB partners a vendor to offtake the spent grains for animal feed production. This diverted around 1,375 tonnes per month of spent grains that were meant for disposal in 2020, opening up a revenue stream and saved costs in spent grain waste management and disposal fees. It also reinforces APB’s position as a sustainable brewer in Singapore.
APB also conducted feasibility studies with government ministries, universities, and other partners to recycle spent grains into reusable items. For example, in 2019, a snack, Tiger crisps, was developed from spent grains with research partners including then-Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and Nanyang Technology University (NTU). The Tiger Crisps were piloted in APB’s tavern and at a pop-up bar in the same year.
ecoWise adopts a drying process to produce animal feed ingredient from spent grain and soya waste.
These food waste materials are dried in a dryer plant equipped with 3 units of tube bundle dryer and a paddle dryer. Steam used by the dryer plant is supplied from a biomass boiler, from the combustion of woodchips produced by ecoWise’s wood and horticultural waste recycling plant. The dried material is packed and sold to customers as animal feed ingredient.
ecoWise’s drying process contributes to the valorisation of the food waste by preserving the nutrition content of the animal feed through moisture removal up to 90%. This kills the microorganisms, thereby stopping the decomposition process, preventing hygiene issues, and allowing the dried material to have a longer shelf-life and lower transport requirements.
ecoWise is valorising around 2,900 tonnes per month of food waste into 570 tonnes per month of animal feed ingredient, which is sold to animal feed manufacturing plant.
Insectta is Singapore’s first Black Soldier Fly (BSF) biotech company, transforming food waste into high-value biomaterials with the black soldier flies. BSF larvae have the ability to consume food waste at incredible speeds, eating up to 4 times their body weight in food waste a day.
Insectta sources their pre-consumer food waste from generators such as soya bean factories and beer breweries daily.
Using proprietary techniques, Insectta extracts high-value biomaterials from them such as chitosan and melanin, and continues their R&D efforts to produce these resources for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, and bioelectronics industries.
Insectta’s facility valorises about 8 tonnes of food waste a month. Insectta also acts as a hatchery, supplying eggs to BSF farms around Singapore.
Participation Award Recipients (in alphabetical order)
Name of Recipient
About the Recipient
A1 Environment Pte Ltd
A1 Environment recovers and uses spent coffee grounds to create beautiful and functional furniture.
The spent coffee grounds are used to create a fire-retardant bio-composite material, in the form of panels, which comprises up to 70% spent coffee grounds. The panel provides an alternative material to wood, which can be reintroduced into the manufacturing process in a circular manner.
Currently, A1 Environment recovers 17 tonnes per month of spent coffee grounds, which are sent to local organic farms to make compost and used to make the coffee biomaterial.
By the end of 2022, A1 Environment plans to double the amount of spent coffee grounds processed. As the cost of the material is comparable to other fire-retardant wood options out there in the market, this presents sustainable alternative that consumers can have.
A1 Environment is also looking at extending the use of this process for other types of single-stream food waste like coffee husks and tea leaves.
Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), A*STAR
Researchers at A*STAR’s IMRE have found a way to use food waste to create engineered biocellulose for high-value medical biomaterials and engineering composites.
By optimising the cultivating media – food waste – for biocellulose, the research team can make biocellulose films in a way that is suitable for large-scale production, paving the way for more sustainable alternatives to the traditional linear economy of take, make, and dispose.
The research team continues to modify these biocellulose films for a range of applications, such as biomaterials, food, photonics, and electronics.
CRUST Group is a food tech start-up that valorises food waste and loss into unique value-added products such as the CRUST beers.
Under the Sustainable Unique Label (SUL) Model, CRUST works with other companies to turn their surplus food ingredients into beers and other beverages, including the development of non-alcoholic beverages from fruit peels and vegetables. CRUST also uses various techniques such as heat treatment and fermentation for the extraction of flavours from different surplus ingredients.
With R&D, CRUST develops unique recipes for their partners, depending on their needs and the surplus food provided to CRUST gets from them. Through upcycling their surplus food, CRUST helps businesses create new products of value, which they can then use to earn additional revenue while reducing their own food waste.
Ento Industries Pte Ltd
Ento Industries is a biotechnology company that harnesses the abilities of insects to close the food waste loop.
Ento Industries utilises the larvae of insects called Black Soldier Flies (BSF) for the bioconversion of food waste that is collected from local food manufacturers. Different food waste streams are treated and formulated into a proprietary feedstock, before being fed to the BSF in a climate-controlled setting that encourages uniform and high-growth conversion rates.
The valorised output consists of fattened larvae and insect frass which are separated and processed to produce high-value feed and fertiliser products for the agricultural industry.
The food waste bioconversion system is modular and can be duplicated, in part or as a whole, for the implementation of food resource valorisation operations in highly urbanised cities such as Singapore.
Since its inception in 2020, Ento Industries has saved over 10 tonnes of food waste and produced over 2 tonnes of agricultural products, which can substitute ingredients such as fish meal and soybean meal. They are ramping up efforts to take in more food waste.
Insect Feed Technologies (IFT)
IFT is a biotechnology company that farms insects as a sustainable source for animal feed nutrition.
IFT’s process starts by collecting locally sourced food waste such as spent grains and soyabean residue from food manufacturers. IFT inoculates the food waste with its proprietary strains of bacteria to retain the food waste quality for valorisation by the Black Soldier Flies (BSF). Besides building capabilities in processing the food waste, IFT has also developed processes to ensure a closed, controlled environment along with feed formulation know-how to optimise the waste conversion process by the insect larvae.
After feeding them with food waste, the larvae will turn into a harvestable source of nutrition suitable for animal feed. The larvae portion is heat treated and is sold as pet and aquafeed. The frass is used as nutritional soil amendment for farming. To date, the company has valorised more than 32 tons of food waste as part of its pilot R&D phase.
IFT’s technological value-add can be considered in 3 cost aspects. First, the reduction of environmental cost of food waste disposal. Second, companies can partner IFT as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative while saving on the financial cost of disposing food waste. Lastly, as IFT scales-up, IFT is looking to produce insect protein and frass on an industrial scale. This will likely reduce the cost of animal feed and organic soil amendment in Singapore.
Kosmode Health Singapore Pte Ltd
Kosmode Health enables access to health from nature through valorising food processing waste-streams into functional ingredients and food for human nutrition.
Kosmode Health collects freshly generated barley spent grains (BSG) from beer breweries and malt factories. The BSG is dried immediately, then processed into fine protein fibre powder. The powder is formulated into W0W®noodle premix, which is used to manufacture W0W®noodle – the only high fibre protein noodle with no glycaemic index (GI) and the only functional noodle produced from food processing waste-streams. W0W®noodle is a fresh, clean label and fully plant-based functional noodles that can be cooked like any normal starchy noodles.
However, unlike rice and starchy noodles, W0W®noodles do not contribute to diabetes as there is no post prandial blood sugar elevation. Also, W0W®noodle’s high barley fibre content per serving is beneficial to gut microbiota. Barley protein also serves as an additional source of protein. With the aging and diabetic population, the target consumer segment which W0W®noodles was formulated for, it addresses the under-consumption of fibre and protein.
Currently, Kosmode Health processes on average about 100kg of BSG per month. Kosmode Health is in the process of fund raising to build a pilot production capacity of at least 100kg BSG valorisation per day.
Otolith Enrichment serves as the integrator and facilitator for the Sustainability @ Tampines Park project, by building a circular economy within a residential area, through the valorisation of food waste using Black Soldier Fly larvae (BSFL).
Residents nearby donate food waste to the facility which are fed to the BSFL. The BSFL is then used to feed the Tilapia fish in the nearby pond and the frass (excrete) is used as fertiliser for growing vegetables in the nearby vertical farm. To store the larvae, they are dehydrated using a dehydrator to be used as fish feed when required. Participating residents are able to redeem the vegetables and fishes using the “Green currency” earned from either the participation in food waste contribution or by volunteering at the facility.
Since the project reopened in July 2020, the residents have contributed 500 kg per month of food waste, translating to savings on waste transportation and disposal costs.
Singnergy Corporation Pte Ltd
Singnergy’s Super-Quick (SQ) drying technologies provide upcycling solutions for wet food waste into high-value end products in an energy efficient manner.
SQ drying technology utilises induction heating with compression to accelerate water evaporation from the food waste, achieving less than 10% moisture content within 10 to 16minutes in continuous operation. The in-built high efficiency induction heater provides instant heat up, resulting in substantial energy savings. Its heating parameters can be adjusted instantly to enable the attainment of high-quality dried products.
Food waste spoilage originates from the moisture within food waste and microorganisms. Singnergy minimises food waste spoilage with their SQ Dryer by vaporising water and killing microorganisms within the food waste to stop the decomposition process. This retains the quality of food waste for upcycling into high value products.
The valorised products from SQ dryers are high in nutrition, superior in organoleptic properties while free from pathogens and mycotoxins. Singnergy has valorised several types of food waste locally including spent barley grains, Okara, and fish waste with at least 35% energy savings as compared to conventional dryers.
Food Resource Valorisation Awards 2021 Evaluation Panel
Designation and Organisation
Mr Christopher Tan
Director (Sustainability Division), NEA
Mr Sim Jun Hua
Principal Engineer (Waste Management Division), NEA
Mr Chew Chee Bin
Director, Singapore Agro-Food Enterprises Federation (SAFEF)
Mr Wong Mong Hong
Emeritus President, Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association (SFMA)
Ms Lee Gee Chyn
Vice-Chairman (Food & Beverages Industry Group), Singapore Manufacturing Federation (SMF)
Dr Eric Peterson
Senior Research Fellow, Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation, A*STAR
Ms Angelin Yeo
Senior Development Partner (Foodtech & Ingredients), Enterprise Singapore (ESG)
Ms Vanessa Chee
Manager (Food Department, Food & Lifestyle Cluster), JTC
Dr Wilson Wong
Deputy Director (Jurong Lake Gardens Operations), National Parks Board (NParks)
Mr Ong Yihang
Assistant Director (Urban Food Solutions Division), Singapore Food Agency (SFA)