Examples of these include the Singapore Food Story (SFS) R&D Programme, led by Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and A*STAR; and grants like the Sustainable Urban Food Production Grant, the Future Foods: Alternative Proteins Grant, and the Food Safety Science and Innovation Grant, which RP has been actively involved in.
Through this, he sees a concerted push toward the development and use of productive, climate-resilient, innovative and sustainable technologies for agriculture and aquaculture. Biotech-based foods and ingredients, underpinned by a robust future-ready food safety system, are also top of mind.
Food for Thought — Bio-Engineered Brain-Boosting Soy Cheese
One such food prototype is the brainchild of a research team from RP SAS, led by Dr Heng.
Troubled by reports on the prevalence of dementia among senior citizens and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children, Dr Heng and his team formulated a DHA-rich functional soy cheese to promote brain health.
“As a researcher in food and nutrition, I share the worry on the trend and… started thinking about how to formulate functional food to promote brain health.”
Through electroencephalography (EEG), a method to measure the activity on the surface layer of the brain, their preliminary data has been promising — consumption of the soy cheese showed enhanced mental focus in young adults.
Apart from being functional, it is also a sustainable, plant-based alternative to dairy cheese. Developed from solubilised okara, part of the residue from soy-based processing, it addresses at least three concerns: functionality, sustainability, and an alternative to dairy products.
Their accomplishments were recognised when the team received a Delight Explorer Award in 2020.
“Businesses that survive and grow are the ones which are capable of meeting the changing needs of consumers. Hence, innovation, development of new food products and/or services becomes an important currency that drives the economic growth of companies and countries,” shared Mr Samuel Aw.
Fuel Up with the Latest Food and Nutrition Know-How at RP
As part of RP’s ongoing efforts in providing lifelong learning opportunities, a set of food-themed Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses have been rolled out, and are available to anyone interested in delving more into the topic of food and nutrition. These include courses like the Diploma in Applied Science (Nutrition and Food Science), Everyday Botanica, Nutrition for Healthy Living, and Knowing Your Nutritional Needs.
RP’s wide range of resources and learning opportunities provide enhanced support to students, alumni and industry partners alike. It also enables RP to be a driving force in the growth of agrifood technology and innovation, with the goal of strengthening food security in our nation.
For those keen on exploring the world of food and innovation, check out the amazing research done by RP’s Formulation and Nutrition Science Technology Centre (FANSTC), Agriculture Research and Innovation (AGRI) Centre and Sustainable Aquaculture Technology Centre (SATC), or sign up for our range of lifelong learning courses to begin your journey.