NTU claims the new course is the first one in the Asia Pacific region to focus on alt-protein. It will be open to students on the Food Science & Technology program, and will potentially be made more widely available if there is enough interest.
Students will learn about the science of producing alt-protein products via plant-based, cell-cultured, and fermentation methods. The course has been developed in collaboration with GFI’s global network of scientists.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) took a similar step back in 2018, when it launched a course called “Future of Food: Plant-based Living” in collaboration with the Green Monday Foundation.
NTU’s course aims to tackle a shortage of scientists and technologists in the Asia Pacific alt-protein sector. The region is the fastest-growing in the world for alt-protein, and there are concerns that a lack of skilled workers could hold back progress. Some are calling for scientists in other fields, such as genetics, bioengineering, and bioinformatics, to move into the area of alt-protein research.
Universities have long been at the forefront of alt-protein research, from the development of cell-cultured pork at Seoul University to the creation of an algae-based tuna alternative by University of San Diego spinoff Triton Algae Innovations. But this research is only possible if workers have the appropriate experience and education.
“No technology, no matter how groundbreaking, will take off without a skilled workforce trained to push it forward,” said a spokesperson for GFI APAC. “This new course takes us one step closer to closing that gap.”