Dole Sunshine and EDB New Ventures to invest in new business targeting fruit waste

Watermelon at a fruit stand in Singapore’s Geylang neighbourhood; taken September 2021Watermelon at a fruit stand in Singapore’s Geylang neighbourhood; taken September 2021

Dole Sunshine Co. (DSC) and EDB New Ventures, the venture-building arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), will invest in a new company to source and use fruit side streams and unused fruit parts to make products such as enzymes, extracts, seed oils and fibers, the company said in a press release Monday.

More than 20 percent of fruits and vegetables globally are lost in the supply chain before reaching consumers, the statement said.

The new venture, called Dole Specialty Ingredients, will aim to reduce fruit losses by turning them into specialty ingredients for the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, food and beverage and other industries, the statement said.

“We will transform all fruit losses and unutilised fruit side-streams into high-value, natural products for highly profitable, less volatile product categories through innovation. This way, fruit losses are upcycled instead of being left behind or sent to landfills,” Pier Luigi Sigismondi, president for the food and beverage group at DSC, said in the statement.

“Singapore, being Dole Sunshine Company’s global headquarters, could not be a better place to anchor our new speciality ingredients business, and we are privileged to have EDB’s support as well as the partnership with A*STAR,” he said.

EDB New Ventures will co-invest in and share the risks of Dole Specialty Ingredients, and it will also dedicate a full-time venture building team for two months and will provide access to industry networks, the statement said.

“We are pleased to partner with Dole Specialty Ingredients, which will leverage the supply chain advantages that Dole Sunshine Company brings to capture the market opportunity for sustainably-sourced natural ingredients with distinct functionalities,” Choo Heng Tong, executive vice president for new ventures and innovate at EDB, said in the statement.

“We will continue working with DSI to tap on Singapore’s industry and R&D ecosystem, as well as our connectivity to the region, to support Dole Sunshine Company’s efforts to build an entirely new business from Singapore,” Choo added. 

The Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR) will also embed five scientists from the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) and the Institute for Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) to work alongside the EDB’s venture building team, the statement said.

Dole Sunshine Co. represents the global interests of Dole Asia Holdings, Dole Worldwide Packaged Foods and Dole Asia Fresh, but it is not an actual business entity, the statement said.

EDB is a government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry tasked with promoting investment and industry development.