September 24, 2023

Finalists of the Fi Europe 2021 Innovation Awards & Startup Innovation Challenge confirmed

The nominees have been revealed, after the jury of experts from all areas of the food industry named the 28 companies who will be competing for the Fi Europe Innovation Awards and Startup Innovation Challenge. The finalists will present their submissions in a final pitch to the jury behind closed doors, and winners will be announced live during Fi Europe 2021, co-located with Hi Europe, on 30 November and 1 December. Again, topics such as sustainability and plant-based top the shortlist, mirroring current market trends and developments.

Finalists nominated for the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge 2021:

Category 1: Most Innovative Plant-Based or Alternative Ingredient

• Moolec Science (UK) for producing real animal proteins in plants to develop affordable, animal-free ingredients

• SACCHA (Germany) for extracting proteins from microorganisms such as brewer’s yeast that are similar to egg protein, only without the egg, allowing manufacturers to create authentic alternatives to animal products

• Sophie’s BioNutrients (The Netherlands/Singapore) for developing a new and sustainable plant-based protein from microalgae

• Time-Travelling Milkman (The Netherlands) for producing and distributing plant-based fat components for creamier, healthier, and more sustainable plant-based products

• Update Foods (France) for producing the next generation of alternative dairy powered by algae and faba protein

Category 2: Most Innovative F&B Ingredient or Processing Technology

• California Cultured (USA) for growing non-GMO chocolate from cocoa stem cells via cell culture technology and, therefore, producing chocolate that is not affected by deforestation or exploitation of farmers

• Eighth Day Foods (Australia) for enabling food manufacturers to produce pioneering, premium, plant-based products under their own trusted brands

• Hoow Foods Pte Ltd (Singapore) for promoting healthy living through improved nutrition by using deep insights of foods and ingredients to create sustainable and healthier foods

• NoPalm Ingredients (The Netherlands) for replacing palm oil as an ingredient in food, cosmetics, and detergents to reduce carbon emissions, and save tropical rainforests

• Umami Meats (Singapore) for producing delicious, nutritious, and healthy cultivated fish that promote the future of sustainable seafood

Category 3: Most Innovative Service or Technology Supporting F&B

• Allozymes (Singapore) for applying its proprietary platform technology to rapidly develop novel enzymes, revolutionizing the way industry can produce complex natural products

• Mi Terro (USA) for its unique approach to using Big Data to develop compostable, alternative, single-use plastic packaging from plant-based agricultural waste

• (Israel) for its proprietary, breakthrough enzyme technology platform that converts high-calorie sugars found in natural juices into virtually calorie-free sugars, such as allulose

Nominated for the Fi Europe Innovation Awards 2021:
Clean Label & Natural Innovation Award

• Bunge Loders Croklaan (The Netherlands) for Karibon, a 100% shea-based cocoa butter equivalent (CBE) that combines all the processing benefits and versatility of leading CBEs with the nutritional and sustainability benefits of shea

• MartinoRossi Spa (Italy) for its Meat Substitute Mix Ragù, a plant-based Bolognese- style sauce mix that is allergen-, GMO- and gluten-free

• Millbo (Italy) for X-Tra Guard, a natural ingredient that eliminates the need for the preservative sorbic acid. X-tra Guard is derived entirely from the natural botanical components of rowan berries

• Lutkala Ltd (Poland) for their food thickener Lutkala, a natural replacement for chemical or synthetic thickeners such as pectins, modified starch, or xanthan gum

Food Tech Innovation Award

• AAK (Sweden) for AkoBisc® GO!, a structured, emulsion-facilitating process in biscuit production that offers longer shelf-life and multiple sensorial benefits

• Chr. Hansen A/S (Denmark) for its FreshQ® food cultures, enabling fermentation-based biological protection against yeast and moulds without undesirable sensory effects and acidity development, thus helping producers to naturally prolong shelf-life and quality

• ICL Food Specialties (USA) for its JOHA® SF Line of emulsifying salts used to optimize protein content in processed cheese, offering various benefits

Health Innovation Award

• ADM (USA) for its HT-BPL1 postbiotic, an ingredient targeting the gut microbiome that can be used by food and beverage manufacturers in a variety of applications requiring heat processing conditions

• Arjuna Natural Pvt Ltd (India) for Rhuleave-K® with its unique SPEED™ technology for the first natural formula for safe and effective pain management

• Bunge Loders Croklaan (The Netherlands) for NuliGo, a uniquely structured medium and long-chain triglyceride that supports muscle building, maintenance, and recovery, making it an ideal ingredient for sports nutrition, healthy aging and medical foods

• NutriLeads (The Netherlands) for BeniCaros™, a proprietary ingredient for immune health that has been clinically proven to support immune function and optimize response to potential threats and stresses

• vaneeghen – Futureceuticals (The Netherlands) for S7™, a plant-based formula containing seven phytonutrient-rich botanicals proven in clinical studies to help increase nitric oxide and reduce oxidative stress

Plant-based Innovation Award

• DSM (The Netherlands) for Delvo®Plant, a unique portfolio of enzymes helping to improve the nutritional value of plant-based drinks, and create gluten-reduced dairy alternative varieties with optimized taste, texture and mouthfeel

• DSM (The Netherlands) for Maxavor® Fish YE, a natural fish flavor derived from algal oil for producing authentic fish alternatives, including vegetarian fish nuggets and vegan fish sauce

• Sprau (Finland) for the germinated faba bean Sprau. Germination allows the full nutritional potential of the faba bean to unfold without digestive discomfort or a ‘beany’ flavour

Sensory Innovation Award

• AAK (Sweden) for AkoBisc® GO!, a biscuit fat that is low in saturated fatty acids and free from tropical fats, offering a unique sensory biscuit quality, with a crunchy bite, no fatbloom and no discoloration over time

• Cargill (USA) for Bright White Chocolate to replace regular, yellowish-white chocolate while keeping the regular ingredients’ list the same as for normal white chocolate

Sustainability Innovation Award

• AAK (Sweden) for enabling chocolate to make deforestation-free claims with ILLEXAO™ SC 70, which is a plant-based ingredient for chocolate and confectionery

• Fonterra Cooperative Group/NZMP (New Zealand) for acting on climate change today through carbon zero capability with its recently launched first carbonzero™ certified ingredient – Organic Butter

Julien Bonvallet, Brand Director Informa Markets, concludes: “What we can clearly see is that for many companies, innovation and further development continue even in the current climate, which is by no means an easy task. And the results are impressive: With their solutions, the shortlisted companies are all making an important contribution to the issues and demands that are driving the industry.”

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