SATS Invests In New Technologies To Improve Quality And Production Of Food

Thursday, March 14th, 2019 | 1647 Views

SATS limited (SATS) has unveiled an expanded S$25 million kitchen facility on 11 March 2019, with food technologies that enable large-scale production of freshly-cooked meals with extended shelf-life without added preservatives. Highlights at the launch included an innovation centre which houses a Think Lab and R&D Kitchen, an automated rice line capable of producing 4,000 portions of rice per hour, auto-fryers which are able to cook approximately 120 kg of rice or noodles in an hour, a thermoforming packing line, and the first commercially available pasteurisation and sterilisation technology in Asia.

Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Chan Chun Sing, officiated the opening ceremony and commended SATS for their culinary expertise and research development in food technology, attributing these factors to giving SATS a competitive advantage in the industry.

The facility features the use of digital twin technology in a move towards Industry 4.0. Using real time data, this technology stimulates different production scenarios, enhances knowledge management, improves operational efficiency and strengthens consistency in production process. When applied across different operations, this technology can also optimise resource planning for new processes.

Other new technologies include the automation of food processing lines which relieves the kitchen crew of the strenuous task of stirring large amounts of food so that they can take on roles which require greater skills. Through providing consistent heat penetration, the pasteurisation and sterilisation technology enable extension of shelf-life of freshly cooked food from two to 90 days without added preservatives.

Introduction of large-scale manufacturing techniques over the last 50 years has led to increased addition of chemicals or artificial preservatives. However, with a rising middle class in Asia, consumers are now demanding for affordable, quality foods with natural ingredients.

“We hope that the new technologies will help to achieve efficiency to drive down the cost, reduce carbon footprints, eliminate food wastage, without relying on preservatives or additives,” said Alex Hungate, President and CEO of SATS.

With such efforts from SATS and other food manufacturers, Minister Chan believed that in time to come, “Singapore will not only be much more self-sufficient in food supply, but will also capture the growing market in Asia for quality and affordable food, to become the food export hub in the region.”