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Country’s climate ideal for Japan, Brunei business collaboration: Envoy (2019)

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Economy) Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam Eiji Yamamoto, Managing Director of Tavelmout Biofarm (B) Sdn Bhd Satoshi Suzuka and other officials during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. PHOTO: SIM Y.H.

BY Danial Norjidi

Tavelmout project will contribute to the diversification of the economy as it is a result of the best mix of Japan’s cutting-edge biotechnology and Brunei’s environment and climate for algae production, said Ambassador of Japan to Brunei Darussalam Eiji Yamamoto.

He made these comments during the official launching ceremony of Tavelmout Biofarm (B) Sdn Bhd’s (TVMB) production facility at Darussalam Enterprise Bio-Innovation Corridor Industrial Park in Kampong Tungku-Rimba on Tuesday.

“This project will contribute to bilateral relations and solving food problems in the world,” he added.

The guest of honour, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong officiated.

Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Economy) Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin was also present.

The ambassador said, “Our countries have longstanding business relations since 50 years ago, from the export of LNG to Japan to a number of business activities and Tavelmout is a most advanced type of business collaboration.”

TVMB is a pioneer in the large-scale cultivation of spirulina using photobioreactor (PBR). According to a press release, compared to the conventional cultivation utilising open raceways which are more susceptible to environmental and contamination factors, TVMB’s scientists and engineers have devoted years of research and development to optimise the PBR cultivation, which has resulted in the maximum production yield at a lower production cost.

TVMB is introducing its locally produced Tabérumo product – the world’s first frozen raw spirulina that satisfies Japan’s rigorous and stringent food safety standards and is sold mainly in the Japanese market by TVMB’s parent company Tabérumo Corp. The strict safety and hygiene control system of their processing facility enables them to create high-quality spirulina which is safe to be consumed raw.

As Tabérumo is a product which maximises the strength of spirulina’s odourless fresh taste and rich nutrients, it can be mixed with all kinds of food and enjoyed by families, athletes and those who are beauty-conscious.

TVMB began exporting the product to Japan on September 2019, and distribution to Japanese consumers will be done through Tabérumo Corp.

“In the first year, TVMB is targetting to produce six tonnes per month. We will be increasing the production capacity yearly, and the maximum production volume after an expansion of the facility is expected to reach 1,000 tonnes,” stated TVMB in the press release.

“Although our initial main target market is Japan, we are also aiming to export our product globally. As a future plan, in addition to continuous marketing in Japan, we will be aiming to expand to other overseas markets including the booming global Halal market after the approval of our Halal certification from Brunei.”

The press release elaborated on the topic of Halal, stating that currently, there is no Halal certified raw spirulina available in the world.

“We are in the process of getting the approval for our Halal application and once certified, Tabérumo made in Brunei will add significant value to its products,” it was shared.

“Efforts are being made to register the Brunei Halal brand in the Middle East, Europe and the rest of ASEAN. Certification of Tabérumo spirulina in Brunei will increase the portfolio of high-quality Halal products produced in Brunei.”

Spirulina, also scientifically known as Arthrospira platensis, is a cyanobacterium often forming helical structure and has been long recognised as the ‘King of Superfood’ due to its high and well-balanced nutrition.

TVMB shared that, although spirulina has been well known for its high nutritional value, conventional spirulina products, in which significant quantity of heat-sensitive nutrients was lost through heat sterilising treatment, have failed to take its advantages effectively.

“In contrast, Tabérumo, the first high-quality raw spirulina product in the world, offers full nutrition (ca 1.4 times of that in the conventional heat-dried products) and odourless fresh taste spirulina originally had by applying proprietary cultivation/processing/freezing technologies and strict safety/hygiene standards.”

Brunei – where stable and warm temperature, rich freshwater resource and access to the global market are available – allows for stable, high-quality/yielding, economic, and more sustainable production of spirulina.

“As a result, we believe that this very strategic production of Tabérumo spirulina at Brunei will fulfil a leadership role in filling the gap of the pending food/protein demands of the world in the near future.”

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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