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Trends in Food Science & Technology
Vol.102, 2020, Pages 155-168


Technology innovations for food security in Singapore: A case study of future food systems for an increasingly natural resource-scarce world

Wai KitMokc,1, Yong Xing Tana,b,1, Wei Ning Chenc

Interdisciplinary Graduate School, Nanyang Technological University, 21 Nanyang Link, Singapore, 637371, Singapore

Abstract

Background Food security is becoming an increasingly important global issue. Anthropogenic factors such as rapid urbanization and industrialization have strained finite resources like land and water. Therefore, against the impending threat of food security, the world can no longer rely on traditional methods to meet its needs. Instead, more creative and technologically advanced methods must be adopted to maximise diminishing natural resources. Singapore is a good case study of a small city-state that is trying to increase its own self-production of food using technology.

Scope and approach

This review highlights the technologies that Singapore have adopted in enhancing food security given its limitation in natural resources. These methodologies serve as a case study that can be used as a reference point in light of the increasingly finite natural resources. The review also presents the advantages of these techniques as well as challenges that need to be overcome for them to be more widely adopted.

Key findings and conclusion

To increase self-production of food and enhance its food security, Singapore has employed the use of technologies such as vertical farming and aquaponics in urban farming, nutrient recovery from food waste, biodegradable food packaging from durian rinds, natural preservatives, insect farming, microalgae and cultivated meat as alternative protein sources. These technologies workaround Singapore's land and natural resource constraints, which many countries around the world can adapt. However, many of them are still relatively nascent with numerous challenges, which have to be addressed before they can be widely accepted and implemented.

Keywords: Food security, Urban farming, Zero waste food processing technology, Alternative food sources, Technology innovations

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