Fi Europe Innovation Awards & Startup Innovation Challenge: The nominees are revealed

On December 1 and 2, the Fi Global team will announce online and live the winners of the Startup Innovation Challenge and the Fi Europe Innovation Awards. This year, 10 companies have been shortlisted for the Fi Europe Innovation Awards and 12 for the prestigious Startup Innovation Challenge. The submissions clearly illustrated the topics currently driving the industry: Numerous nominated companies offer innovative solutions in the areas of sustainability and plant-based alternatives. With its two awards, trade show organiser Informa Markets has for many years honoured companies for groundbreaking innovations in the food and beverage industry.

While the Fi Europe Innovation Awards are open to all exhibitors at Fi Europe CONNECT 2020, the Startup Innovation Challenge is aimed specifically at young companies. After all, exhibitions such as Fi Europe co-located with Hi Europe are particularly important for start-ups to get to know potential customers and investors. That’s why the Fi Global Team was keen to hold the Startup Innovation Challenge at the virtual event, despite the difficult conditions created by the pandemic.

For the Fi Europe Innovation Awards, a jury of eight experts from various fields of the F&B industry selected the most innovative submissions from the numerous entries. Prof. Colin Dennis, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of IFIS (International Food Information Service), is chair of the jury.

The nominees for the Fi Europe Innovation Awards are:

Ingredient Innovation Award
• ADM (Switzerland) for its ProFam® Pea that improves the taste and sensory profiles of plant-based protein formulations, allowing for the creation of healthier and sustainable plant-protein products.
• Biospringer (France) for Proteissimo™ 101, a solution for formulators requiring a versatile protein for their meat substitutes or dairy-free products, such as melty cheese analogue, a hardy plant-based sausage or burger, or a high protein snack.
• Bunge Loders Croklaan (The Netherlands) for Sweetolin, a patent-pending breakthrough fat system that enables up to 50 per cent less sugar in the final product, and maintains texture and taste performance.
• Fonterra Cooperative Group/NZMP (The Netherlands) for SureProtein™ SoftBar 1000MP, an exceptionally soft milk protein isolate designed to contribute softness and shortness to high protein nutritional bars.
• Polaris (France) for a vegan source of omega-3, EPA and DHA, instead of the more common omega-3 from fish oil.
• Viking Malt Oy (Finland) for the germinated fava bean Sprau that is an excellent source of macro and micronutrients. During germination, the bean efficiently degrades FODMAPs and a unique treatment leaves it with a mild, cereal-like flavour.

Food Tech Innovation Award
• Netzsch Trockenmahltechnik GmbH (Germany) for the ATEX-compliant Condux® Compact system which makes the installation of an efficient grinding plant considerably easier and more cost-effective for a variety of different products.
• Pharmactive Biotech Products (Spain) for AFF®ON Cool-Tech, a unique patented and innovative process that allows the extraction of one of the purest extracts of saffron, affron®, with higher quality and with less energy use.

Sustainability Innovation Award
• Olam International’s (UK) AtSource is a sustainability insights platform that gives companies unrivalled transparency in their supply chains by allowing them to track the social and environmental footprint of a product, from the farmer group to their factory gate.
• Solercool Technologies (USA) offers African farmers a solar energy supplied refrigeration technology to reduce food wastage after harvest.

Finalists in the Startup Innovation Challenge:

Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient
• Paragon Pure (USA) creates high-performance specialty flours that can be used to replace additives and deliver natural flavours, colours and nutrients for wholesome foods.
• Michroma (Argentina/USA) uses the latest genome editing technology to develop proprietary filamentous fungi strains, capable of producing high performance ingredients such as pH and thermal stable food colourants, in bioreactors.
• Cultured Decadence (USA) developed a system to make crustacean products directly from the animals’ cells using cell-culture and tissue engineering, creating a cost-effective alternative to wild harvest in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Most Innovative Processing Technology
• Sufresca (Israel) develops edible coatings for fruit and vegetables that prolong shelf life and help create a plastic-free world, particularly those that are notoriously challenging to coat, such as pepper, tomato and cucumber.
• Novameat (Spain) released the world’s most realistic plant-based beef steak and pork fibrous meat in 2020, and is currently scaling up the technology to provide manufacturers with tools to mimic several types of meat and seafood.
• Legendary Vish (Austria) offers plant-based seafood with 3D food printing, producing sustainable and tasty salmon fillets without destruction of the marine ecosystem.
• Tebrito (Sweden) develops premium protein ingredients for the food industry from insects, having solved the usual issues experienced with regards to powder browning.

Most Innovative Technology or Service Supporting the F&B industry
• Kiinns (Israel) is developing a unique technology that, for the first time, eliminates the need to clean food processing equipment in industrial kitchens and food production lines, by preventing the equipment surface from coming into contact with the processed food.
• Innoscentia (Sweden) offers smart labels that indicate real-time food status, both visually to consumers and digitally to blockchain systems, to prevent food waste by intelligent labelling.
• Spoontainable (Germany) developed the first edible ice cream spoon made of residuals of the food industry, cocoa been shells.
• FlavorWiki (Switzerland) is a consumer insights and data management solution designed specifically for the food and beverage industry. Its goal is to accelerate the food industry by offering an affordable solution that delivers insights and a higher reach compared to existing methods.
• Enyzmit (Israel) technology improves existing enzymes across a range of parameters, including thermal-stability, expression, specificity and activity, and is currently developing enzymes capable of generating novel sweetener molecules.

“Innovation is crucial in order to achieve a competitive edge, particularly in challenging times,” says Prof. Dennis. “This year, we’ve seen a continuing focus on plant-based ingredients. Sustainability is an ongoing theme, too, and common to all award categories, as the industry demonstrates its commitment to reducing waste, improving efficiency and exploring a diverse range of ingredient sources. I would like to thank and congratulate all those who made the time and effort to submit entries in what has been the most difficult of years.”

Innovations in Food (& Beverage) Technology is a quarterly magazine distributed globally both in Print and Digital formats. www.innovationsfood.com. Twitter: @innovoodtech. Instagram: @innovationsinfoodtechnology. Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/terry-prior52

The awards ceremony for the Fi Europe Innovation Awards will be webcast live on December 1 at pm CET. For the Startup Innovation Challenge, interested parties are also invited to watch the pitches: These will be available on-demand on 1 – 3 December. The winners’ announcement will take place live on 2 December at 1 pm CET.