Pro Taste

Winners of the South East Asian Food Innovation Challenge announced

In mid-June, ProVeg Asia announced the winners of its 2021 South East Asian Food Innovation Challenge. Out of 125 proposals from 13 different countries, six proposals were selected and awarded in an online ceremony.

Finalists of the Food Innovation Challenge

In early April, ProVeg announced the 17 finalists in the challenge. Between April and June, the student groups were mentored by leading food-industry players from Beyond Meat, CPF, Haofood, Nestle, Oatly, Unilever, and ProVeg. This included support in further developing their ideas, as well as general advice about their projects in order to finalize their proposals.  16 of the selected finalists successfully completed their proposal and final presentation. 

Starting in May, the public was able to vote on their favorite submission on the project website. In total, the finalists received 70,226 online votes. Eight out of 16 finalists’ ideas will be adopted or partially adopted by the participating organizations in the near future.

Selected students had to present in-depth proposals for innovative new plant-based foods to a jury consisting of four food-and-beverage experts and an academic on Southeast Asia Studies, who then determined the top six winning teams. The judging criteria included online voting, the impact of the proposal, the creativity involved, the launch plan, and the commercial feasibility of the product.

Meet the winners of the Food Innovation Challenge

On 15 June, ProVeg Asia held the final award ceremony. Three student groups received the 3rd prize of 500 USD. Pietastic worked on a frozen plant-based pot pie made from the Vegetarian Butcher’s products and inspired by the popular Malaysian popular dishes Nasi Lemak, Pongteh Chicken, and Murtabak.

Ang Ru Jun, Liew Heu Kei, Naomi Lee Ying Song, Seok Xuan, Taylor’s University, Malaysia.

The second student group to receive the 3rd prize was Juan & Juana, who offered an all-encompassing solution to global social problems by integrating the supply-chain network of plant-based products with companies’ corporate social responsibility pledges.

Keessy Alley E. Almazan, Nadine Obrien M. Magnaye, Venus L. Rubia , Southville International School and Colleges, Philippines.

Borderless also received the 3rd prize. They worked on regional iconic dishes, including a Nasi Lemak Wrap, a Keema Masala Puff, Meatless Jerky, Balinese Vegan Pork Satay, Chewy-porky Tteok-kkochi, and the Mala ‘Shiok’ Bursting Ball, using plant-based meat.

Koh Wei Yan, Teoh Wei Ean, Clarrisha Vallerie Widjaja, Ashley Thong Kitt Yieng, Taylor’s University, Malaysia.

The second prize of 1,000USD was awarded to two student groups. TempMie worked on protein-enriched instant Japanese-Indonesian noodle with tempeh, while the other group to receive second prize was Butterfly Pea Ice Cream. Their proposal was for a dairy-free vegan ice cream that changes color from blue to purple when adding a lemon solution.

Alberto Septian Wijaya, Ferryawan Kurniady, Lucia idelia Ulina Tindaon, Ryan Matthew, Catholic University of Atma Jaya, Indonesia.
Yong Liang, Derick Lee, Paulie Teo, Tan Ting Wei, National University of Singapore, Singapore.

The winner of the Food Innovation Challenge is The Marble Booster. They proposed, Wagyu-style marbled-meat analog slices infused with immune-boosters, turmeric and black-pepper extracts. This meat alternative will be sold as a refrigerated ready-to-eat meal in a composite recyclable package.

Nuti Hutasingh, Varanya Techasukthavorn, Natchanon Srangsomjit, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.

“We are honored to be receiving the first award from the ProVeg South East Asian Food Innovation Challenge. This is our first international-level award that we and our school are proud of. Ultimately, we would like to further develop this product with CPF for the real launch, to make it real, and to ultimately help the people and the planet.”

The Marble Booster


“CPF had the chance to mentor two teams, TempMie and The Marble Booster. I must say these young talents worked effortlessly with passion and dedication to achieve their goals and hope that their product ideas will end up in retail stores or food-service channels. I would like to congratulate all teams for their achievements and hard work and wish them all the best of luck for the future!”

Lalana Thiranusornkij PhD

VP of R&D at CPF

Asia as an opportunity for plant-based innovations

Shirley Lu, Managing Director of ProVeg Asia, said, “Asia presents the largest opportunity for plant-based diets. To tap into this enormous opportunity, innovation is key. Asia needs more tasty, healthy, and convenient plant-based products targeting not only vegans but all types of consumers.” After this truly inspiring challenge, we cannot wait to see what ProVeg Asia does next.

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