SINGAPORE: Truffle-flavoured chips inspired by Korean dumplings and bak kwa made with tempeh are among the 10 finalists of this year's Asia's Great Snack Challenge.
The competition, organised by Enterprise Singapore, offers start-ups and budding entrepreneurs a platform to take innovative snacks to market within three months, said the agency on Monday (Dec 13).
And for the first time, their creations will be available to the public on online grocer RedMart and at food court Food Folks @ Lau Pa Sat for one month from Jan 3.
Inventors of healthy snacks dominated the finalist selection, including eggless "salted egg" kale chips by vegan restaurant Afterglow, seeded sourdough crackers by Ardens Bake and tortilla chips by vegan brand Un-Possible Kitchen.
Others folded nourishing ingredients into treats where they are usually not found, such as granola bites containing Traditional Chinese Medicine ingredients and cookies made with fibre-rich okara, a by-product of soy milk and tofu.
Fried chilli snack Eat My La Jiao, wholegrain puffed rice snack Wok Puffs and "MAShrooms" - mala-flavoured oyster mushroom snacks - rounded out the list.
The finalists were selected from 127 participants, in a process that incorporated online public voting and a testing and pitching session.
They underwent a three-month incubation programme and were matched to corporate mentors Haidilao Hotpot, Mr Bean, Tong Garden, Polar and Uncle Saba's Poppadoms, said Enterprise Singapore.
Mentors like Sreenivas Saba, the co-founder of Uncle Saba's Poppadoms, gave "invaluable insights" on snack production, said one finalist.
"He also offered to do a test batch for us at his manufacturing facility, which we are eternally grateful for," said Un-Possible Kitchen co-founder Eunice Yvette Ng.
The grand finals of Asia's Great Snack Challenge will take place on Thursday. Finalists will pitch their snacks to a panel of judges comprising Enterprise Singapore representatives, food industry leaders and food critic Wong Ah Yoke.
The top two winners will receive a cash prize of S$10,000 and chances to commercialise their products after the competition.