From Left to Right: Dr. Sandhya Sriram and Dr. Ka Yi Ling, Founders of Shiok Meats
Dr. Sandhya Sriram and Dr. Ka Yi Ling conceived the idea of Shiok Meats and co-founded the company with a firm belief that a sustainable solution was required to feed the ever-increasing population without creating additional pressure on the otherwise declining ocean health.
Sandhya, the Group Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, is a stem cell biologist and scientist by training and education; a business development professional, serial entrepreneur, and thought leader – all in one. Ka Yi is a developmental and stem cell biologist specialising in tracing and studying stem cells during development, and currently acts as the Chief Technology Officer for Shiok Meats.
Dr. Sandhya Sriram and Dr. Ka Yi Ling with Their Team of Scientists and Researchers
Today, the duo has an agile team of over 30 scientists, researchers, food technologists, and business professionals working on a path-breaking technology and building a manufacturing plant of their own. In the last three years, Shiok Meats has raised US$30 million, the highest ever by a cultivated seafood and meat company in Asia, from a global suite of investors, and are on track to disrupt how the world consumes seafood and meat.
While the team is still working on the exact nutritional analysis, the health benefits of cultivated shrimp theoretically match those of conventional shrimps, said the founders. “We do not grow the fat or cholesterol parts of the shrimp; we only produce the protein and muscle parts that make up most of the shrimp meat.”
How is the cultivated meat from Shiok Meats different from plant-based meat such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat?
Left to Right: Shiok Shrimp and Beet Spheres, Shiok Lobster Gazpacho, Terrine of Shiok Lobster and Plant-Based Blend
How is cultivated meat produced?
Dr. Sandhya Sriram Going Through the R&D Process in the ab
Infographic from Shiok Meats on the Production of Cultivated Meat
What are the long-term goals for Shiok Meats?
Chilli Crab Dish Made with Seafood Grown from Shiok Meats
Shiok Meats’ primary target will start with consumers in Singapore while slowly moving to the rest of Asia through premium restaurants and food services. Their current focus lies on creating local dishes that appeal to the Asian palette such as dumplings, chili crab, etc.
Shiok Meats, as a venture, is committed to helping the global food systems become robust enough to feed 10 billion people by 2050 without building excessive pressure on land, water, and animals. Sustainable food sources are the key to the future of food.
“Just with cultivated crustaceans like shrimps, crabs, and lobsters, we aim to transform the fast-growing US$147B global market and US$40B APAC market. We aim to bring down the costs of the meat and seafood so that it reaches mass-market scale and is available on the shelves of supermarkets for people to purchase.”
On realising the potential of cellular agriculture technology
Scientists from Shiok Meats Conducting R&D in the Laboratories
A day in the life of the founders of Shiok Meats
The Founders of Shiok Meats at a Crab Tasting Event
Dr Ka Yi shares that her priorities in a day can range from going through the technology progress with her team leads, giving talks to spread awareness about the cultivated meat and seafood industry, setting up research collaborations to progress technology development, and checking the health of the experiments that are taking place on the R&D side.
“Ka Yi and I have regular check-ins to discuss the technology roadmap and other matters that need immediate attention. We also do regular roundups to strategise with the rest of the C-Suite and team leads to help everyone stay aligned on the mission,” she said.