SCU Southeast Asia Sdn Bhd (SCU-SEA) and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further promote and develop research for commercialisation of sea grapes.
This collaboration will see UMS under the Faculty of Food Science and Nutrition (FFSN) focus on developing innovative food products from seaweeds particularly the Caulerpa species.
Locally known as ‘Latok’, sea grapes are a seaweed species which is commonly sought after in Sabah to serve as fresh leafy vegetables or main ingredients of salads. Known by its scientific name of Caulerpa lentillifera, the seafarer communities, or those who grew up in shallow reefs or rocky seabed areas of Borneo treats it as a nutritious food alternative.
The MoU signing was represented by Chief Executive Officer of SCU-SEA, Sadira Yeong as well as UMS Vice-Chancellor Taufiq Yap Yun Hin.
“We are looking to work closely with a local government research institute as we begin to explore the research and development and commercialisation of seaweed in Malaysia and Singapore, particularly sea grapes.
As SCU-Southeast Asia will be investing into this area, it marks our foray into a future of plant-based protein and nutrition,” said Yeong.
“With the merging of two teams of experts from the industrial and research background, this collaboration will enhance the research and development of seaweed-derived downstream products,” Taufiq said.
Meanwhile, the SCU’s Group CEO, Philip Gu said he believes the collaboration would result in a positive impact in the direction of sustainable plant-based protein and nutrition supply chain.
“The collaboration with UMS this time is in line with the company vision to bring positive impacts to society through biotechnology application in the field of agriculture and aquaculture, focusing on precision farming and value-adding processing of high-value plants. We look forward to take this product globally and working closely with UMS in this endeavor,” Gu added.