Singapore’s Future Ready Food Safety Hub (FRESH) was jointly launched by Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore), Singapore Food Agency (SFA), and the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR). FRESH is set up to drive research and build local food safety science capabilities in order to support Singapore’s food innovation ecosystem. Another of FRESH’s key functions is to support and allow “first-in-market” food products to be safely launched in Singapore.
With little farming land, Singapore imports over 90% of the food consumed locally from over 170 countries, geographically spread. Among the strategies to enhance food security, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is working to transform Singapore’s agri-food industry into one that is highly productive, innovative, and sustainable. Singapore’s vision is to meet 30% of national nutritional needs with locally produced food by 2030.
FRESH will support local and overseas agri-food companies by studying new ways to assess food safety risks in novel foods while keeping abreast of newer, emerging forms of food. FRESH will bridge multiple disciplines, including food science, microbiology, chemistry, toxicology, engineering, and communication. The hub will work with government, academic, and industry stakeholders to build a unique collaborative tripartite R&D platform.
The executive committee of FRESH consists of Adjunct Associate Professor Joanne Chan from SFA, Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar from NTU Singapore, Adjunct Associate Professor Ralph Graichen from A*STAR, as well as other representatives from various government agencies, institutes of higher learning, and relevant industries.
FRESH builds upon Singapore’s Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2020 (RIE2020) Plan, in which funding of up to SGD 144 million (USD 108.5 million) was committed to the Singapore Food Story R&D Programme to drive innovation in the local food industry.
(Sources: Nanyang Technological University; The Straits Times)