Shiok Meats: Cell-based crustaceans for sustainable future of food


Dr Ling Ka Yi, Shiok Meats: The way the world eats at present is unsustainable and unhealthy for the environment, animals and ourselves. It is impossible to produce the amount of seafood required to feed the growing population by 2050. Hence the future of food will be meats grown in the lab, also known as, cell-based meats.

By using stem cells, tissue engineering and food technology, Shiok Meats will bring crustaceans meats to your table, which are health-, animal- and environment-friendly.

Shiok Meats is a cell-based crustacean company – the first of its kind in the world and the first cell-based startup in Singapore and South East Asia (Shiok in Singapore English means enjoyable and fantastic). In this talk, I will share the background and technology of cell-based crustaceans and journey of setting up Shiok Meats.

Dr Ling Ka Yi is a developmental and stem cell biologist with over 10 years expertise in tracing and studying stem cells during development. Ka Yi received the prestigious ASTAR’s National Science Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor’s and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She worked closely with stem cell and developmental biology experts like James Thomson, Davor Solter and Barbara Knowles. Following graduation, Ka Yi did her postdoc at IMCB, ASTAR in Singapore. She is an active science communicator since her days in Madison; and frequently takes part in science outreach and speaks at food sustainability and career management events. She also did a podcast called “Science Now” and “Life after PhD” with fellow colleague/scholar. Ka Yi is passionate about marrying her experience in biotech research and her love for food to produce sustainable food products. In August 2018, she co-founded a cell-based crustaceans startup called Shiok Meats, along with Dr Sandhya Sriram. She was recognized as one of the MIT Tech Review’s “Innovators under 35 in Asia” 2020, the “Women and the Ocean: Changemakers” challenge 2020”, the Great Women Of Our Times 2020 by Women Weekly, and Gen T list 2020.

Shiok Meats is a cell-based clean meat company, the first of its kind in Singapore and South-East Asia. Our mission is to bring delicious, clean and healthy seafood and meats by harvesting from cells instead of animals. Shiok Meats will bring cell-based crustacean meats (shrimp, crab, lobster) to your table. Our meats are animal-, health- and environment-friendly with the same taste, texture, more nutrients and no cruelty. “Shiok” in Singapore and Malay slang means fantastic and delicious. Shiok Meats is founded by two stem cell scientist-turned entrepreneurs, Dr Sandhya Sriram (CEO) and Dr Ka Yi Ling (CTO). The rest of the team consists of experienced scientists, engineers and food technologists. We are currently in R&D phase and will commercialise in a few years.

Dr Ling Ka Yi will speak at the 2021 edition of the Online Protein Transition Conference.

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