Ting Hsin International Group has invested in plant-based ingredients developer Alchemy Foodtech to cut the sugar and carbs in the food and drinks group’s products.

Through investment arm Ting Li Development, Ting Hsin on Friday (24 November) announced a memorandum of understanding worth S$8m ($6m).

Alchemy Foodtech intends to work with 14 of Ting Hsin’s brands in China and South East Asia.

Ting Hsin owns a range of big names in China, such as fast-food chain Dicos and retail group FamilyMart. The instant noodle, snacks and beverages maker Master Kong, and frozen goods, condiments and non-alcoholic drinks producer Wei Chuan Foods Corporation are also subsidiaries of the company.

While a Wei Chuan US branch also exists, this is owned by Hotai Group and not Ting Hsin. Alchemy Foodtech also confirmed that there were no plans in place to collaborate beyond the Asia-Pacific region.

Alchemy Foodtech told Just Food its Alchemy Fibre and Alchemy SweetFibre ingredients will be used in Ting Hsin’s food and drink production starting from next year.

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By GlobalData

Both ingredients, which are high in fibre and prebiotics, are said to reduce the sugar and carb content of carbohydrate-based foods without affecting taste or texture.

In a statement, Alchemy Foodtech said it will also use Ting Hsin’s manufacturing facilities to develop the healthier offerings, which in turn it said would help cut the cost of its ingredients by around 30%.

Just Food has asked the Singapore-based start-up to confirm which of the conglomerate’s plants it will be working at.

The functional ingredients group was unable to disclose which specific products or brands they would be targeting with their sugar and carb reduction solutions, but indicated that it would include “healthier beverages, bakery, [and] snacks”.

The ingredients producer already works with fast-food group Subway and steamed buns and dim sum manufacturer Lim Kee in Singapore.

In a statement, Ting Li representative and international business division director at Wei Chuan Foods Cooperation, Michael Chen said: “Our commitment to Alchemy Foodtech highlights our belief in their technology and capabilities. We are confident that this collaboration will be able to meet the rising demands of increasingly health-conscious consumers globally”.

Alchemy Foodtech CEO Alan Phua added: “We are honoured to work with Ting Li and Ting Hsin’s subsidiaries in this strategic partnership to develop more sugar reduction applications across the instant food and beverage sector.

“This is a very exciting collaboration that will create meaningful opportunities, not just for Alchemy Foodtech, but also for businesses with their sights set on creating healthier and better food for our future generations”.

In 2020, seafood giant Thai Union injected part of its $30m venture fund into Alchemy Foodtech, via the food tech incubator and accelerator programme SPACE-F.