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Disruptive Innovation: Reshaping the food systems of tomorrow

Fi Gobal insights


Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 What are the key ingredients for open innovation success? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Finding the right balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Staying with the trends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Matching consumer demand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Regulatory know-how: Challenge or opportunity? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Collaborate, don’t dictate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

How F&B multinationals foster innovation by being open to change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 An academic perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Picking up the pace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 An entrepreneurial tribe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Reaping the rewards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Lessons for startups: Securing funding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Critical challenges that need to be overcome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Fundamental considerations prior to launching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Key indicators of a promising business concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Securing that all-essential funding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Enabling innovations within the food sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Lessons for startups: Spotting traps on the road to success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Embracing innovation in a competitive environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 The struggles of open innovation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Organic growth still relevant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Sustainability driving innovation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Tips for success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Lessons for startups: Navigating regulations to deliver food innovation in the EU and USA . . 19 EU Novel Food Regulation vs US GRAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Implications for startups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Ingredients under evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Healthier and more sustainable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Example of successful innovation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Meet the best innovations presented at the Fi Europe 2019 Startup Innovation Challenge . . 22 Category: Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Category: Most Innovative Plant- or Cereal-based Food or Beverage Ingredient . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Category: Most Innovative Alternative Food or Beverage Ingredient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Category: Most Innovative Process, Technology or Service Supporting F&B Industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Disruptive Innovation: Reshaping the food systems of tomorrow


Introduction There is no denying the correlation that exists between innovation and consumer trends. Companies need to fulfil the ever-increasing demands from consumers in order to remain profitable and ahead of the trends. According to a report by Food and Drink Europe, the top innovation drivers within Europe can be broken down into 5 categories, with pleasure/indulgence being ranked as the number one driver at a 47.8% share.1 While health ranked as the second largest driver of innovation within Europe, it is ethics that has been identified as the most dynamic driver of them all, which can largely be attributed to the recent major spike in ecological concerns we have seen from consumers.

Food innovation trends

Drivers of innovation in Europe (%)

Source: Data and Trends report 2019, Food and Drink Europe1

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With the evolution of technology meaning that consumers have better access to information and are becoming more knowledgeable, their expectations are rising along with demands for more sustainable solutions, and meeting consumer needs has become increasingly more complex for manufacturers. The pace of innovation continues to increase at an alarming rate and appears to have no intention of slowing down. Innovations can be identified across the entire food value chain today, from plant breeding, cellular and acellular agriculture, processing methods, formulations, packaging and logistics, to retail. Within this fast-changing landscape, it is often the smaller companies like startups that have the big, game-changing ideas. However, they usually lack the funds to explore further opportunities or scale up sufficiently. Conversely, larger food companies often have larger budgets for research and development, greater marketing expertise, greater brand recognition, and distribution channels at scale, which usually provide larger benefits from a consumer buy-in perspective. Their size, however, often slows them down in terms of reaction time to changing market trends and consumer demands. It is, therefore, in this intersection between cutting-edge innovation and big brands, that open innovation promises to deliver major benefits for both parties. Larger corporations more often have the resources, funding and expertise needed by startups to provide optimal conditions for their innovations to flourish, and startups, on the other hand, can often lend a more agile and dynamic way of working to the larger organisations’ established systems and processes, without disrupting their day-to-day business activities. What is required to ensure successful collaboration in an open innovation environment for both startups and multinationals? Below some of the key elements required for successful open innovation partnerships are explored from the perspective of both the startups and the big brands. Startups experience various hurdles, from funding, to collaboration models and regulatory complexities. Now in its fifth year, the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge offers some of the most promising of these innovators within food ingredients a platform to connect with the industry leaders who can help pave their way to success. Read on and discover the best innovations presented at the competition in 2019. The 5th edition of the Startup Innovation Challenge will be held during Fi Europe 2020, taking place in Frankfurt from 1-3 December.

“Open innovation began as companies outsourced some of their development efforts due to increasing external capabilities or high mobility of skilled labour. But it quickly morphed into more of a collaborative approach where emerging technologies are sourced via universities, startups and other companies better suited to develop the technology and know-how.� Rahul Shinde, Director Front End Innovation, Givaudan

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What are the key ingredients for open innovation success? Jeremy Basset is CEO of CO:CUBED, where he works with some of the world’s largest businesses to re-think their organisational approach to innovation, and help them build and execute their collaborative innovation capabilities. Prior to launching CO:CUBED, Jeremy spent 13 years at Unilever where he was responsible for launching and then leading the Unilever Foundry, Unilever’s platform to engage with startups and innovative companies who can help Unilever pioneer the future. Through the Foundry, over 1500 of Unilever marketers have worked with over 150 startups, bringing innovative technology and an entrepreneurial culture to Unilever. Jeremy Basset CEO of CO:CUBED

According to Jeremy Basset, big companies and startups still have big communication problems, despite growing collaboration among players of all sizes across the food industry. In fact, most of the startups will need a helping hand if they want to make it among the big multinationals – although fragmentation of the industry is squeezing the largest players. On the other hand, even in a business environment now characterised by open innovation and numerous acquisitions, many corporations still struggle to engage constructively. As Basset said:

“There is still an elephant and mouse thing going on here. The language is still quite different, and the time frames are still massively different.” 2 That is to say that, a multinational may be able to take several months – or longer – to get a project off the ground, while that same time period could cause a major cash flow problem for a startup. Basset gave the example of the non-alcoholic beverages category as an area where the big players are struggling to engage. The sector has seen particularly strong growth in recent years – but most major soft drink companies remain outside the trend. Basset added:

“Most revenue

Startups investing in the future

growth is going to companies that were registered in the last ten years. This is happening across the food industry and it is happening across every category.” 2

Source: Future of Nutrition Summit 2019, Jeremy Basset is CEO of CO:CUBED, Presentation ‘Startup-powered disruptive innovation’

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Finding the right balance He suggests that there is a sweet spot for multinationals looking to collaborate with startups, many of which are incredibly optimistic when they start out. At that stage, they are more likely to rebuff a corporate approach, preferring to believe they can make it on their own. A dose of realism tends to come a bit later. Basset is convinced that partnerships are one of the most effective ways to disrupt the food and beverage sector, but it remains challenging to bring together the scale of big brands with the agility of startups.

“Disruption is interesting and attractive, but disruption is difficult. …When it works, it works incredibly well. It works for the corporate. It works for the startup. And, perhaps more importantly, it works for the consumer.”2 Rahul Shinde is Director Front End Innovation at Givaudan. He is a well-known industry expert and, having worked for a startup himself, he understands all the challenges involved in getting a startup off the ground, as well as the benefits that open innovation can provide, especially in a rapidly changing industry. Open innovation has become a mainstay in the food and beverage industry over the past decade – and companies have learnt a lot of lessons in the process, sometimes the hard way. Rahul Shinde Director Front End Innovation at Givaudan

“With the explosion in Venture Capital (VC) funding, it became obvious that open innovation partnerships can be a viable way to source innovation and growth for big companies while supporting and enhancing the ecosystem. It’s almost like a chain reaction, initiated by the startups and enabled by VCs and big corporations.”3 Staying with the trends Some expensive acquisitions from major companies, helped trigger wider acceptance of open innovation as a concept.

“Coca-Cola, for instance, bought Glaceau Vitaminwater for $4.1 billion in 2007 and in 2015, it acquired a 16.7% share of Monster Beverage Company for $2.15 billion. Coca-Cola launched an open innovation program in 2010 and forged partnerships with startups in emerging categories like coconut water and tea, which enabled it to be part of these trends early on.”3 Shinde said this approach cost less and created more value for both companies3. He added;

“Large companies are realising that a lot of the big ideas are coming from outside, and that they are better suited to start working with the startups earlier in their development cycles for long-term success.”3

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Matching consumer demand While open innovation projects have the potential to accelerate new product development, Shinde warns that consumers have their own pace for experimentation. He gives the example of Quirky, a Californiabased company that aimed to connect inventors with relevant partners to bring new products to market in three to six months. Normally, NPD takes more like two to three years. However, it went bankrupt in 2015. Shinde said;

“They launched product after product and failed to realize that consumers’ appetite for experimentation in mass categories, and home tools & appliances, is limited. Their development costs continued to rise and new products that were supposed to move off the shelf at a rapid pace, did not. This caused the company to crumble.”3 Quirky has since reinvented itself with new ownership and a new business model.

Regulatory know-how: Challenge or opportunity? From a food ingredients’ perspective, regulation must be a top consideration for any entrepreneur, and it can be daunting. Shinde suggests that this is where partnering with a larger company can create an opportunity, speeding the route to market ahead of potential rivals who will face the same regulatory hurdles.

“It’s food at the end of the day, and you have to follow the regulations properly or you will quickly go out of business. As a startup you probably won’t have the regulatory expertise. But, large companies like Givaudan do. So, you can look at this as a hurdle or as an opportunity. If you look at it as an opportunity, you can leverage the partnership to get a head start towards building a sustainable business.”3 Collaborate, don’t dictate For food ingredient startups seeking partnerships, there are plenty of other advantages of collaborating with a large company, including access to expertise and new sales channels. Shinde explained that;

“It is important for small companies to play a role in the sales process, even if the partnership is simply about a larger company using their ingredient in a new concept or application. But you don’t just hand over your product and expect them to sell it or use it – you have to be present yourself too. At the same time, startups might feel the need to control the process. That creates a general lack of trust. You have to strike a balance. Approach the engagement through the lens of collaboration and learning.”3 “Keep it simple at the end of the day. Enjoy the process of creating an innovative product collaboratively, and success will follow.”3

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How F&B multinationals foster innovation by being open to change From academic research and private investment, to startup entrepreneurship, open innovation drives the search for the foods of tomorrow. But how do multinationals balance research and innovation activities with their day to day business?

Dr Kavita Karnik is Vice President of Global Nutrition and Open Innovation at Tate & Lyle. She provides leadership in the Innovation and Commercial Development unit on nutrition science and is involved in new product development. She leads a strategic nutrition science research and education program which ensures scientific support for new and existing products and is also responsible for exploring strategically relevant open innovation opportunities in Europe for Tate & Lyle.

Dr Kavita Karnik, Vice President of Global Nutrition and Open Innovation at Tate & Lyle

“Innovation for us is a broad term! From the ‘renovation’ of an existing product portfolio (by introducing small but useful changes) to the introduction of ‘disruptive technologies’ anywhere in the life cycle of our ingredients (from new product development to production processes to logistics), we innovate daily.”4 An academic perspective The company looks for innovations both amongst startups as well as academia.

“We have research collaborations with a wide range of universities and organisations, which help us not only leverage their expertise for specific projects, but also develop relationships built on mutual trust which becomes instrumental in learning about the latest developments in the academic world.“4 “To give an example of such cooperation, Tate & Lyle acquired exclusive rights to manufacture and commercialise a new sodium reduction technology from Eminate, a subsidiary of The University of Nottingham in the UK. The ingredient, SodaLo, has won awards for innovative ingredient.”4

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Picking up the pace Working in an open innovation environment can be tricky – even for the larger multinational companies such as Tate & Lyle:

“Open innovation is a very dynamic and fast-moving world! Sometimes it can be challenging for a big company like ours to make decisions fast enough to keep us with the pace.”4 “We are in an exciting and fast-paced phase in the F&B industry. The explosion of consumer interest in clean label and functional ingredients is driving innovation. An increased awareness of sustainability issues leads to an increase in flexitarian diets, an emphasis on plant-based diets as well as packaging innovation. We hope that this environment will open exciting opportunities of collaboration between F&B multinationals and smaller startups.”4

Manuela Borella is Vice President of Danone’s Innovation Incubator. Her passion for harvesting diverse talent to unlock team potential, in addition to a rich corporate network, enabled her to lead one of the first successful multinational incubators. She has a deep wealth of operational experience in corporate strategy, brand building, P&L management and marketing.

Developing innovation requires speed and agility, two elements that can be hard to muster for large multinationals. With its Manifesto Innovation Accelerator, Danone has internalised innovation by supporting startups from within. This allows the group to benefit from the assets brought by small startup processes who, in turn, can unlock the capabilities of a large multinational like Danone. Manuela Borella, Vice President of Danone’s Innovation Incubator

An entrepreneurial tribe According to Manuela Borella, VP at Danone’s Innovation Accelerator, Danone’s M.I.A. innovation lab supports “a tribe of internal entrepreneurs to accelerate new business models.” Startups have certainly inspired the way they launch their ideas “in a test and learn mindset,” she said.

“We want to capture additional profitable growth opportunities through the incubation of disruptive ideas and business models, looking across and beyond current product categories. We are building startups inside the company, rather than using M&A to unlock growth, and unleashing our people’s potential and talent by giving freedom to pursue personal intuitions from idea to market."5

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Manuela Borella, Vice President of Danone’s Innovation Incubator

“I like to make a distinction between ‘sustainable innovation’, which aims at creating novelty and improvement within a company's established categories and business model, and ‘radical innovation’, which brings disruption and builds value by changing the defined business model and taking the company into exploring new human needs. At the MIA we are focused on the latter and are obsessed by a human-centric approach. This leads us into the understanding of humans to uncover new needs and explore how our brands, existing or new ones, can serve those needs to enhance users’ lives.”5 Reaping the rewards According to Borella, Danone found that by cultivating the disruptive ideas and models startups have to offer, the rewards would be two-fold. On the one hand, it offers an opportunity for development by unlocking “growth, and unleashing our people’s potential and talent by giving freedom to pursue personal intuitions from idea to market;" and on the other, an opportunity to change the way a large multi-national company like themselves operate by “providing concrete examples of how agile startup mindsets and tools can be applied and leveraged.”5 Achieving a state of synergy between the two ways of working does pose its challenges, however, and as Borella noted:

“While we would love to just throw out the rule book, that is not realistic if we want to make sure that these new ways of working can be integrated into the company. We push boundaries when we need to, but we must learn to choose our battles and focus our energy.”5 She also highlighted the importance of, when it comes to taking decisions, collaborating with the business and providing factual and legitimate information in order to ensure full transparency of any potential risks. In doing so, Borella notes that it lends greater credibility to their methods by providing concrete examples that demonstrates what they want to achieve. This internal startup incubator seems to have had a positive impact on the company and Borella is very pleased with the results thus far.

“The most important thing is: I have gathered a very talented, fun and unconventional team. We have identified 18 ideas serving Danone’s One Planet One Health model and accelerated 7 internal startups. We are just as proud of the 2 we have binned, the 2 that are in city-launch & the 3 that will be on the market soon. There have been 1952 qualitative consumer interactions and 8956 MVP’s in consumers’ bellies. We’ve been spreading new ways of working internally: more than 1000 Danoners have joined our internal communications channel, and we’ve been invited to share our story at over 30 large events.”5

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Lessons for startups: Securing funding Maarten Ooms is Managing Director in Rabobank’s Financial Advisory and Solutions group, where he oversees their Food and Agri Innovation initiatives in the European region. As part of his responsibilities, he assists young growth companies to raise capital in private placement rounds. Entrepreneurs not only need vision and drive to commercialise their ideas, they also need to raise capital and to fully understand their market. Maarten Ooms, Managing Director, Rabobank Financial Advisory and Solutions Group

Critical challenges that need to be overcome “The main financial challenge is raising capital, especially in early rounds. The real challenge for startups is being able to convince potential investors about the fact that their business will give them the right return for the commensurate risk they are taking by investing into them. Another recurring issue for startups is that the only available financing is equity financing (raising capital by selling company stock to investors), which is both expensive and dilutive. Particularly for businesses that have a working capital need, that is not ideal.” “There are many non-financial challenges. The most important is to thoroughly understand your customers, their needs and the market, in order to get them to buy your product. Making sure that you understand your competitors’ landscape is also key. There are operating challenges as well, such as getting access to production, distribution and finding the right sourcing partners. And last but not least, building a strong team is key for success and can be challenging especially in early stages, when financial stability is still low.” Fundamental considerations prior to launching “Plan meticulously. Every little detail matters. For instance, it matters who your investors are, as they are not just providers of capital, but can give you so much more in terms of expertise, potential route to market and can also enhance your reputation.”

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“It is also important to make sure you understand your market, competitors and the regulatory environment in which you operate. Think your pricing and sourcing strategies through and be able to explain why your business is unique. How easy is it to copy, can you protect your IP, etc.?” “Think also in the longer term. Scaling your business will be a challenge, because when you grow, every small little issue will be magnified. Understand your customer needs and behaviours, think of potential partnerships and about the people running the business with you.” Key indicators of a promising business concept “At Foodbytes! by Rabobank, we look for businesses that can help transform the global food system and address global challenges such as food waste, climate change, food shortage, better nutrition, etc. This, of course, in addition to being a viable and investible business.” “The criteria we use for startup selection are essentially five-fold: having a robust team, having a cutting-edge product/technology addressing major industry challenges, having a focus on positively impacting people, profit and planet and feeding the world more sustainably, having a collaborative mind set and a validation to growth stage.” Securing that all-essential funding “During ideation stage it will be difficult for a startup with a bright idea, but little capital, to demonstrate to potential investors that their business will generate cash, let alone profit. They probably have not yet tested and validated their product. At this stage, typically, funds are made available by family, friends and angel investors.” “It is also worth considering the various programmes offered by governments and supranational organisations. Each country often has startup programmes and facilities available that can be cheaper than equity and may not require you to give up a stake in your business. It is important to have a solid business plan and investor deck where all details are thoroughly explained.”

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Enabling innovations within the food sector “Through our leading F&A innovation platform FoodBytes!, Rabobank has built an ecosystem from farm to fork to help spur innovative solutions that address the world’s food challenges. The platform builds lasting connections between the most promising food and agriculture startups, our corporate clients and investors, helping them pioneer a more sustainable future, via our pitch events and our bespoke pilot programme.” “The bank furthermore offers various forms of capital, via our captive venture capital, private equity funds and growth capital solutions; including our Equity Private Placement and the ‘Subordinated Innovation Loan’, which is designed for private limited liability companies (BV’s) established in The Netherlands, that do not qualify for a bank loan or lease because they have not yet demonstrably produced results and/or because their cash flows are inadequate.”

Visit Fi Global insights to read the full interview with Maarten Ooms : bit.ly/Interview-Maarten-Ooms

Maarten Ooms, Managing Director, Rabobank Financial Advisory and Solutions Group

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Lessons for startups: Spotting traps on the road to success Startups often lead innovation. However, in an industry ruled by strict guidelines and regulations, making it in the food and beverages industry is not an easy feat. They not only need the appropriate funds, experience and target audience to be interested in their products, but startups also need to have a clear understanding of the legislations that govern these markets in order to be truly successful. The ‘Spotting Traps on the way to success – do’s and don’ts for startups’ webinar focused on providing key learnings on how to avoid some of the common pitfalls as well as tips on how to best develop projects successfully within the food and beverages industry. During the webinar, Eschar Ben-Shitrit, founder and CEO of Redefine Meat, an Israeli startup which developed a plant-based meat 3D printer and won the Startup Innovation Challenge 2018 Most innovative plant-based finished product award, recounted his experience of launching Redefine Meat and what they learnt from the difficulties along the way. Also joining the webinar panel was Saskia Hoebee, a food and agriculture analyst at Rabobank, whose focus is on startup trends in innovation, Pierre-Olivier Beal who is the Head of Sales and Marketing for Novolyze, a French startup leading the food safety revolution, and Dr Christiaan Kalk, who is the founder of life science-based innovations and has over 20 years of experience in science and regulatory affairs.

Some of the key learnings gained from this webinar were: • Passion for the project is essential – matching a good idea to process, people and technology is a must in order to succeed. • Continuously collect feedback from the customers throughout the developmental stage and adapt your idea to the market needs – make sure the products you produce are what people actually want. • Always keep in mind that you are a food company – the products you produce need to be safe, healthy, trustworthy, as well as tasty.

Visit Fi Global insights to listen to the full recording of the webinar: bit.ly/Spotting-Traps-Webinar

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Embracing innovation in a competitive environment Nard Clabbers is Senior Business Developer Personalized Nutrition and Health at TNO, where he, together with Wageningen University, has set up a large international research consortium that investigates technical and social innovations to enable personalised nutrition through consumer empowerment. This pre-competitive public-private consortium is unique in combining different scientific expertise and using real-world field labs. Manuela Borella is Vice President of Danone’s Innovation Incubator. Her passion for harvesting diverse talent to unlock team potential, in addition to a rich corporate network, enabled her to lead one of the first successful multinational incubators. She has a deep wealth of operational experience in corporate strategy, brand building, P&L management and marketing. Julian Mellentin is the Founder of New Nutrition Business, expert consultancy services to ingredient and branded product companies on all aspects related to nutrition and health since 1995. The company has offices in London, Scotland, Portugal, USA, and affiliates in Korea and Japan. Their customers range from global players to startups, and NNB is best-known for its annual 10 Key Trends in the Business of Food & Health. Jeremy Basset is CEO of Co:Cubed where he works with some of the world’s largest businesses to re-think their organisational approach to innovation, and help them build and execute their collaborative innovation capabilities. Prior to launching CO:CUBED, Jeremy spent 13 years at Unilever where he was responsible for launching and then leading the Unilever Foundry, Unilever’s platform to engage with startups and innovative companies who can help Unilever pioneer the future. Through the Foundry, over 1500 of Unilever marketers have worked with over 200 startups, brining innovative technology and an entrepreneurial culture to Unilever. Maarten Ooms is Managing Director in Rabobank’s Financial Advisory and Solutions group, where he oversees their Food and Agri Innovation initiatives in the European region. As part of his responsibilities, he assists young growth companies raise capital in private placement rounds. While size gives larger food companies a strategic advantage in terms of marketing heft and brand recognition, they can be slower to react to market shifts and new consumer demands. This creates opportunities for more agile startups to prosper. What should businesses – large and small – be doing to embrace innovation and keep ahead of the competition? These were some of the issues debated at a Future of Nutrition Summit 2019 panel discussion, entitled ‘Innovating the food system: how are companies embracing the faster pace of change in the food system?’, moderated by Nard Clabbers from TNO. The panellists included Julian Mellentin from New Nutrition Business, Manuela Borella from Danone, Maarten Ooms from Rabobank and Jeremy Basset from CO:CUBED.

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The struggles of open innovation As always, time is of the essence. Investing in innovation is critical as consumer expectations have increased. They have far more data and information at their disposal, noted Nard Clabbers. A key challenge here, however, is managing the different speeds that startups and corporate entities tend to move at, in order to ensure a shared common objective. According to Maarten Ooms what is important is to carefully manage the innovation process, and to clearly set out objectives and milestones. He said, that there needs to be expectation management. Manuela Borella agreed with this point and noted that, often, the necessary administrative tasks such as legal agreements and NDAs, can be time consuming and complicate the relationship between a startup and multinational unnecessarily. She further advises that these tasks can be outsourced to a back office to allow attention to be focused on those aspects that really brings the most value.

“Most of the time where the relationship gets stuck, is in the things that do not really bring value.” Julian Mellentin advised that startups should avoid working with publicly quoted companies during the investment phase, because they are more likely to cut off early during the development process if objectives are not being met. He suggested that private companies tend to be more flexible in this respect.

Organic growth still relevant The panel debated whether the focus of F&B businesses has shifted from organic growth to disruptive innovation. According to Mellentin, organic growth still drives innovation within those companies who remain in tune with consumer trends and motivations;

“Branded food companies are getting lots of organic growth, and the ones who are, are the ones who stand closest to consumer trends and understand best what the drivers are for people to purchase products. A good example of this is a company that saw how low-sugar ice cream was taking off in the U.S. and introduced a similar product to Europe, with massive success. As far as consumers are concerned, they see something new on the shelf and, in their eyes, that is an innovation.” Mellentin concluded:

“The food industry does not necessarily want innovation; they want risk reduction. The innovative part is fine, but you have to find a way to reduce the risk in the eyes and minds of the management who has to do it. It is all about risk-perception.” Manuela Borella highlighted the importance of data to determine whether innovation in a specific sector is needed.

“It would be a mistake to abandon the core and to just focus on innovation. Data can help you see where your budget should go.”

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Sustainability driving innovation The panellists were all in agreement that the biggest driver of innovation at present is sustainability. Maarten Ooms noted that in the concept of a healthy planet, healthy people are a key trend and businesses that cannot provide proof of sustainability, run a big risk. Danone, for example, has fully embraced the concept under the vision of ‘One Planet, One Health’. As Borella said;

“This has become our business model, and everything has to be thought of through this filter. The transition has started, and we are very serious about it, it’s in our DNA.” Tips for success As summary of the discussion, Clabbers asked the panellists:

“What have you learnt; what works, and what hasn’t in your experience?” Maarten Ooms underlined the importance of businesses embracing innovation from the top-down. This is key to success, he said, noting that one difference between the U.S. and Europe is that Europeans are far more afraid of failure.

“Innovation needs to come from the CEO-level, or it doesn’t come.” Jeremy Bassett agreed with this point; however, added how critical it is to also ensure that the full support from the entire board is gained. Without it, even a potentially great idea backed by an enthusiastic CEO can often become very costly to an organisation if the board is ambivalent from the start. Millions of euros are regularly wasted on the endeavours of a newly appointed chief innovation officer in convincing an unwavering board on how the innovation could be profitable. Borella also highlighted the importance of differentiating between theory and strategy, as Danone experienced first-hand with one of their projects.

“[You cannot expect that] just because the top management in an office in Amsterdam wanted something that in the UK, the business unit will execute it,” she said. “The company wants to focus on their day to day business, and in my opinion, it works to have a separate [innovation] unit that is able to build strong partnerships with the rest of the company.” Basset added:

“Think about innovation in the same way as you would think of diversity, it is everyone’s responsibility to be involved in innovation across an organisation, but some get it more than others. We see this again and again. The lesson here is that innovation teams need to engage the whole business and be able to enable and inspire a whole organisation.” Visit Fi Global insights to watch the video recording of the panel discussion: bit.ly/Innovating-Food-System-Panel-Discussion

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Lessons for startups: Navigating regulations to deliver food innovation in the EU and USA Christiaan Kalk is the founder of LSBI | life science-based innovations, a company that provides scientific and regulatory support for product innovation. Serving startup companies, established multinational firms as well as investors, LSBI supports businesses in developing healthier and more sustainable products. Global food innovation is developing at a tremendous pace. Novel products boosting consumers’ health and offering more sustainable alternatives are on the rise. However, in order to succeed, new product developers must deal with complex and costly food regulations, such as the EU novel food regulation and US GRAS. What do these mean for startups?

EU Novel Food Regulation vs US GRAS “The EU novel food regulation requires pre-market approval by governmental authorities; US GRAS does not. If a food or ingredient is not very common, its status being ‘Generally Recognised As Safe’ can be affirmed by an independent panel of recognised experts. Prior to evaluation by the panel, the pivotal studies used in risk assessment must be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. If the panel concludes the product is GRAS, the manufacturer may or may not consult FDA. If the administration agrees, they publish a letter stating they have ‘no further questions.’ If FDA is not consulted, we speak of a ‘self-affirmed GRAS’.” “From submission of a full application to publication in the Union List of novel foods, it takes about two years. In theory, it could be a bit quicker. In practice, interactions often take more time. The Commission’s DG SANTE and the PAFF Committee on Novel Food and Toxicological Safety in which the Member States are represented, are involved, as well as EFSA and its NDA Panel.” “Obtaining US GRAS status can be much quicker. If the data is there and the pivotal studies are published, it can be done within a few months. Consulting FDA takes a few more months. If there are no questions, the procedure can be completed within a year.” “Preparing well for a novel food registration and US GRAS affirmation pays off. Despite the regulatory differences, the data required for risk assessment is rather comparable; with the EU being a bit more demanding. If the planning is right, if decisions are taken quickly and the outcome of analyses and studies is favourable, data generation for risk assessment and dossier preparation can be done within 12 to 15 months.”

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Implications for startups “Successful registration takes a well-characterized and consistent product. This can be demanding, particularly for a startup. For instance, five different batches that are representative of the final, full-scale production process should be analysed for composition and for chemical and microbiological contaminants. Stability of the novel food ingredient in final food products should be demonstrated. The proposed uses in foods must be defined and the resulting consumer intakes must be calculated. This should also consider intakes resulting from other sources than the novel food itself, as well as possible vulnerable groups within the targeted consumer population. Finally, it should be demonstrated that the novel food is unlikely to cause unintended effects on nutritional status and diets of consumers.” “Typically, in order to facilitate risk assessment, genotoxicity tests and a repeateddose (sub-chronic) toxicity study must be conducted in a qualified test facility. The latter test on rodents should demonstrate a margin of exposure compared to the foreseen intake by consumers.” “Depending on the product, typical costs for testing, dossier preparation and registration, can range from € 250,000 to € 350,000 or higher. This forms a considerable hurdle to many startup companies, as no income from the intended uses of the product can be generated in the EU while the registration process is ongoing. Finally, the applicant should be prepared to answer questions, to modify the uses of the product or even to generate additional data during the registration process.” “Novel food registration requires a case-by-case approach. It is not routine, not even for an established multinational, and certainly not for a startup company. One should seek advice from people who have been there before and take a stepwise, coordinated approach.”

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Ingredients under evaluation “Several insects, as well as plants and algae are under evaluation as a source of protein or other macronutrients. Some carbohydrates and dietary fibres as well as bioactive substances derived from plants, from fermenters or from chemical synthesis, are also under evaluation. Many more innovative foods and ingredients are in earlier stages of development. For instance, proteins, fats or whole biomasses from plants, algae or fungi, cultured meat, as well as fermentable fibres that selectively support the colon microbiota or immunity.” Healthier and more sustainable “Often, novel foods are more sustainable or are more desirable from ethical viewpoints shared by an increasing number of consumers. They can further bring more variation, a better taste or a better price.” “Their main benefit may also be health. Think of less calories, fewer blood sugar peaks and troughs, or lower blood cholesterol. They can also serve as a substrate for a healthy colon microbiota, support our immune system and help suppress hunger. It is a pity that many of the desirable effects are difficult to prove. But science is moving forward, and personal monitoring of health parameters is coming.” Example of successful innovation “I’d like to mention Quorn, a fungal protein-rich ingredient. It entered the British and Dutch markets based on local legislation, prior to the introduction of the EU novel food Regulation, for which it served as a blueprint.”  

Visit Fi Global insights for the full interview with Christiaan Kalk: bit.ly/Food-Innovation-Navigating-Regulations

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Meet the winners and finalists of the Fi Europe 2019 Startup Innovation Challenge Some of the biggest game-changing ideas in the F&B sector have been brought to us by food ingredient startups who need to successfully navigate various hurdles, from funding, to collaboration models and regulatory complexities, before their innovations become industry standards. Now in its fifth year, the Fi Europe Startup Innovation Challenge offers some of the most promising of these innovators within food ingredients a platform where they can showcase their innovations in order to gain the right attention from potential investors and collaborators to help them prosper and disrupt the industry. The 2019 edition featured 20 of the most ground-breaking F&B innovations, across four categories: • Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient • Most Innovative Plant- or Cereal-Based Food or Beverage Ingredient • Most Innovative Alternative Food or Beverage Ingredient • Most Innovative Process, Technology or Service Supporting the Food & Beverage Industry For the 2019 edition, we were fortunate to have the support of the following partners:

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Category: Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient Amai Proteins - WINNER Amai Proteins is on a mission to reinvent the Food & Beverage industry with their unique protein design technology. By combining biotechnology with Agile Integrative Computational Protein Design (AI-CPD), Amai produces tasty, healthy and food-compatible proteins, fit for the mass food market.

It’s all in the technology With their application of AI-CPD, Amai is able to redesign and adapt natural proteins. By using precision fermentation (similar to how beer is brewed) microorganisms produce proteins in such a way that they are compatible with the extreme conditions found in food and beverages, further resulting in a high production yield, as well as improved stability and functionality. The company’s name ’Amai’ means sweet in Japanese, and their first focus is on producing Sweet Designer Proteins that are non-GMO, healthy (zero calories, zero glycemic index), tasty, cheaper than sugar (in sweetness units), widely foodcompatible, scalable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.

Important validation At Fi Europe 2019, Amai were the winners of the Most Innovative Food or Beverage ingredient Category at the Startup Innovation Challenge. According to Ilan Samish, Founder & CEO of Amai Proteins:

“Winning the Fi Europe 2019 Startup Innovation Challenge is an important acknowledgement and validation for a new startup like Amai. As a result, we received collaboration requests from numerous large and medium-size Food & Beverage multinationals, potential producers, distributors and companies who can help in formulation of new products.”6 Market launch for their product is expected within the next two years and the Amai platform is also targeting digestible proteins, hypoallergenic proteins, alternative proteins for meat and milk, as well as other tasty and healthy proteins.

Solving sugar overconsumption “Amai is working with several large Food & Beverage multinationals on formulating the Amai healthy and sustainable sweetener in megabrand consumer packaged goods. With PepsiCo and Danone, we won a 1M Euro EIT Food grant. With Ocean Spray, are working on sugar-reduced cranberry juice, and with others, we are working on some well-known products to help solve the world's largest global health threat of sugar overconsumption.”6

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By harnessing the powers of emerging technologies and innovating upon an age-old, reliable production process such as fermentation, Amai Proteins is one of the startups that are looking to do what they can in order to contribute to more sustainable and healthy food ingredients. Other startups selected to showcase their innovations at Fi Europe 2019 in the Most Innovative Food or Beverage ingredient Category included:

microPow microPow offers a new, additive-free large-scale encapsulation platform for food products. Ingredients such as flavours and colorants, as well as compounds which are oxidation sensitive and unstable, are protected during processing and storage which leads to improvements in shelf-life and product quality. Moreover, thanks to the unique physicochemical properties, ingredients such as colours and flavours can be released at the right time which allows microPow to produce long-lasting chewing gum with a constant flavour being released during the whole chewing time of 15-20 minutes. Or, vegetarian burgers that look like real beef burgers, with a juicy, medium grilled core and a crispy, grilled outside.

PANVEGA PANVEGA presents vitamiN’ co: the first vitamin B12 in the world allowed in organic-certified food products. Flexitarians represent a growing section of the global population and are driving the rapidly expanding plant-based and organic food markets. Plant-based food lacks vitamin B12, so vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians are at risk of developing a B12 deficiency. PANVEGA AG – a startup from Zurich – offers the first B12 in the world to be allowed in organic-certified food. It sells its B12 under the brand vitamiN’ co, in a stable powder form that can easily be mixed into all kinds of food products. The GMO-free vitamiN’ co is as natural as sauerkraut or wine and makes it possible for a plant-based diet to be both healthy and complete, without the need for supplements.

Epinutra Epinutra is dedicated to the development of benescoTM, a targeted nutraceutical ingredient designed to support oesophagus health by strengthening the oesophagus wall. Three in ten of the general population, and a staggering 80% of pregnant women, can benefit from oesophagus health support as they suffer from heartburn caused by stomach acid rising up and irritating the oesophagus. With a defined mechanism of action and solid patient data, benescoTM aims to catalyse the shift from synthetic medicine to natural food in this >10B € market.

Hempfy Hempfy’s focus is on using legal hemp ingredients (THC/CBD-free) to produce mass-market driven products. They choose to only work with the freshest plants, promoting sustainable farming, and have developed a core know-how on cold-fusion technology, which preserves freshness and taste of the plant. Hemp is a trendy ingredient. However, Hempfy is the only company who succeeded in launching and distributing it across supermarkets in Switzerland, Germany, and other markets, continuously introducing new forms of products based on legal Hemp.

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Category: Most Innovative Plant- or Cereal-based Food or Beverage Ingredient Better Nature - WINNER

“Any great solution starts with a great problem.”7

These are the words shared by Christopher Kong, CEO & Co-Founder of Better Nature, the world’s first foodtech company focused on using innovative tempeh fermentation methods to fulfil their simple mission of creating foods that are better for people, the planet, and animals.7

A better natured alternative The rate at which meat is currently being consumed is highly unsustainable and the expectation is that this will only increase in the coming years; especially in developing countries such as Asia and Africa. As a result, Better Nature is hoping to identify more sustainable meat alternatives with no compromises. Kong said:

“As member of the Western world, we need to serve as a role model and cut our meat consumption. Our products, and our brand, stand very firmly in support of a whole-foods, plant-based diet. We deeply believe that there is no need for consumers to compromise on the taste, nutrition and health of their products by going plant-based.”7 Reinventing the wheel By applying modern science, Better Nature has found a way to reinvent the fermentation-wheel, providing a sustainable solution to the meat consumption crisis the food industry is facing. Kong noted:

“The really great thing about tempeh fermentation and this technology that we are innovating upon, is that it can be applied to any bean, legume, nut or grain. It decreases the fat content by about 40% and, at the same time, increases the protein content by about 20% and improves the amino acid profile such that our tempeh has the same quality of protein as that of beef, with the same protein content as that of grilled mackerel or grilled cod. Because it is such a simple food process that can be applied to so many plant-based substrates, we believe that countries in the developing world can readily apply the same technology to improve the quality of their crops and help curb their rate of meat consumption.”7

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Better things to come Having won the award for Most Innovative Plant- or Cereal-based Food or Beverage ingredient at the Fi Europe 2019 Startup Innovation Challenge, Kong noted that this certainly corroborates that they are on the right track to becoming a full-fledged ingredients company in the near future. It has also assisted them in successfully raising further investment funds needed for further development. Kong stated that:

“Having that validation from a third-party organisation that we are a truly innovative company and pushing the boundaries of food science, food tech and food ingredients, has certainly helped us to attract the right investors to accelerate the use of these technologies and the introduction to market.”7 Since the competition, Better Nature has successfully launched their first range of products through their own online store, as well as through the UK’s largest online vegan store, TheVeganKind Supermarket. They are also rapidly expanding into various retail stores around the UK, with their products already available in around 70 retailers, including Planet Organic, which is a premium London-based retailer. More product launches can also be expected throughout the coming year; with their Better™ Bites expected to come to the market in May, and their Better™ Burger, Better™ Strips and Better™ Ribs to follow later in the year. Having a robust platform of product development and innovation seems to have offered them an upper hand when it comes to releasing products to the market at a faster pace. Kong mentioned that:

“What has proven to be really effective and great, is keeping a lot of our innovative capacity in-house and sourcing the best talent to help us bring these truly innovative, clean-label meat alternatives to the market.”7 Where innovation is concerned - from a startup perspective, Kong advises:

“You need to be solving a real problem. Don’t spend too much time elaborating on the problem you want to solve; if it is pertinent, relevant and huge, you will find the right people to help solve it with you.”7

Other startups selected to showcase their innovations in the Most Innovative Plant- or CerealBased Food or Beverage ingredient Category included: CaffeInk CaffeInk aims to offer a sustainable and healthy dark colorant to the food and beverage industry, while closing the loop of the coffee value chain. This startup works on extracting dark (brown-black) colorants and other valuable compounds, such as oil, from spent coffee grounds, and collaborates with the F&B sector to offer plant-based, local ingredients with a circular economy mindset and a low energy and carbon footprint.

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Krusli Krusli is on a mission to Rescue Food! They do this by creating delicious and healthy breakfast products made from rescue d food, like brewers’ grain, wheat bran, broken chips, seeds that are too small, peanut butter that would be wasted otherwise and nuts that are broken, but still perfect for breakfast. They created four different flavours: Peanut butter & Banana, Apple & Walnut, Beetroot & Ginger, and Sweet Potato & Cocos, all of which contain less than 10% of sugar (only a little bit of fruit syrup). They also have three innovation projects that are ongoing, in order to venture out to other categories and rescue even more food.

Innovopro Innovopro is the first company in the world to launch a chickpea protein 70% concentrate (CP Pro 70®), an innovative plant-based protein that adds value to both producers and consumers. It extends customers' choices for a new, clean-label, non-GMO and non-allergenic source of protein, and it brings excellent food-technology properties, as well as benefits in terms of functionality, health, nutrition, taste and mouthfeel. Several products based on Innovopro's CP Pro 70® were already launched by their customers, and hundreds of global food manufacturers are already testing CP-Pro 70 in a variety of applications.

The 5th edition of the Startup Innovation Challenge will be held during Fi Europe 2020, taking place in Frankfurt from 1-3 December. We like to see you there!

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Category: Most Innovative Alternative Food or Beverage Ingredient FUMI Ingredients – 2 PRIZES, 1 WINNER! FUMI Ingredients not only won the award for Most Innovative Alternative Food or Beverage ingredient, but they were also selected by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) to receive a special €10,000 food prize grant. The use of microorganisms in food production is no foreign concept and has been seen in a wide variety of food applications to date, from the production of cheese to that of alcoholic beverages. Whilst having been used in food production processes for centuries prior, FUMI Ingredients believe that there is still a major untapped source of high value ingredients that exist in microorganisms which can be used for fully sustainable diets. As a result, they have developed a unique platform to produce functional, animal-free, food ingredients. And their target? Proteins suitable for egg-white replacement.

Vegan egg-white protein Egg white protein is arguably one of the most utilised animal proteins when it comes to food production, due to its unique ability to form very stable foams, strong gels and stabilise emulsions. However, due to the disadvantages associated with egg white production, it is imperative for the food industry to come up with a suitable and sustainable alternative solution. FUMI, therefore, is implementing scalable and ready-to-use technology which permits the production of novel proteins, suitable for use as egg-white replacers. The technology behind FUMI’s platform is based on an efficient and mild extraction of specific molecules present in the structure of the microorganisms. According to Edgar Suarez Garcia, CTO of FUMI Ingredients, they are currently in the process of validating their technology with several food companies in Europe, which will enable them to produce a novel, vegan, egg-white protein.8 At the Fi Europe 2019 Startup Innovation Challenge, FUMI Ingredients not only won the award for Most Innovative Alternative Food or Beverage ingredient, but they were also selected by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) to receive a special €10,000 EIT Food Prize grant. Winning both awards certainly meant a lot for the startup, not only financially, but also in several unexpected ways. Suarez said that:

“The money element is always well received (especially for an early stage startup) but the exposure, recognition and networking opportunities were really important and something we did not expect.”8

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Successful innovation does not just happen When it comes to successful innovation, ensuring that your ideas are relevant and up to date is vital, and advice from experts, knowledge on legislation and having a good understanding of what the competition and other companies in the global food sector are doing, should be sought. Suarez noted:

“Getting up to date with other fellow startups and getting a glimpse of the current innovations and products launched by established small and large companies in the food sector worldwide was also crucial, as this provides an excellent view on the newest developments.” 8 While FUMI may not have found their way to the market yet, it’s their business model that will most likely prove to be their greatest asset.

“We have a very good idea of the market we want to address, and we believe we have a strong product and technology. But still we need to develop an effective way to market. Our business model is particularly advantageous since we are providing a non-GMO solution, independent of traditional farming, scalable and economically competitive.” 8 According to FUMI, their product is robust, scalable and can, at full industrial scale, undercut egg white prices. Some of the industrial partners assisting in their product validation process, produce meat replacers, bakery or confectionery products, further showcasing the great potential that exists for these alternative ingredients.

Other startups selected to showcase their innovations in the Most Innovative Alternative Food or Beverage ingredient Category included: Tamago Food Tamago Food develops the food products of the future, by proposing plant-based substitutes to eggs. While there is an increasing demand for plant-based substitutes, Tamago realised that it was not easy for the professionals to find simple plant-based substitutes for pastry, and so, they reinvented the egg. YUMGO, their plant-based egg replacer for food professionals, fills a gap for the food professionals. Their unique plant-based substitute allows food professionals to replace the eggs they are using without any complex learning or adaptation. YUMGO is simple to use, comes in a format suitable for food professionals, is delicious, and allows professionals to create plant-based recipes (meringues, mousses, macarons etc.) without any effort. YUMGO – 100% plant-based, 100% delicious.

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Higher Steaks The world's population is exponentially increasing alongside meat consumption, despite growing knowledge of its negative impacts. To ensure worldwide sustainable development and health goals are met by 2050, we must create a more efficient and sustainable food supply. Cultivated meat (meat using cell culture techniques) can have a colossal positive impact; however, key technological challenges must first be overcome to create cost-effective, scalable manufacturing of cultivated meat products. Higher Steaks is a pork cultivated meat company, focusing on the breakthrough technologies that will bring cultivated meat products to scale.

Pleurette Will mushrooms be the next food revolution? Pleurette is an innovative Foodtech startup, based in the National Interest Market of Lille (the second most important in France). Producing fresh and organic mushrooms, Pleurette valorises oyster mushroom residues and develops mushroom-based protein texturing agents for the food industry: an alternative to ultra-processed products with a natural binding effect. It renders a good meatlike chewability and taste to their sauces and mini, meatless balls and burgers. These mushroom-based alternatives are soy-free, additive-free, gluten-free, vegan, organic and, being rich in fibres, also provide the texture and satiety effect of meat. Furthermore, they are also unique and match 4 major trends: organic, flexitarian, local, allergen-free. What’s more, they answer the increasing consumer demand for fresh products, locally made and processed in an environmentally clean way.

Lab Lab Lab Lab produces a proprietary, live, liquid starter culture to make innovative beverages, food, feed and ingredients. The unique starter culture and their proprietary methods are key to fermenting many different plants and ‘waste’ from other food value chains. Their production entails ‘zero waste’ as they commercialise both the liquid and solid parts of the fermentation processes, on top of which they up-scale and license the use of the starter culture itself. Compared with known industrial fermentation processes, Lab Lab’s methods are much faster and seem to create more and better aromas, taste, and structure.

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Category: Most Innovative Process, Technology or Service Supporting F&B Industry Qwarzo® - WINNER Qwarzo® develops two unprecedented paper technologies, providing a 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable solution to fully and cost effectively replace single-use plastic in numerous applications; such as coffee stirrers, cutlery, straws, and other packaging. Qwarzo®Solid is the technology used, which allows injection moulding of 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable paper, replacing solid plastic packaging. Qwarzo®Stratum then, is a surface treatment of paper, rendering it unbelievable barrier properties, whilst keeping the paper 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable to fully and cost-effectively replace flexible plastic packaging. Both are fluoride free, polymer free, and of course – plastic free.

Other startups selected to showcase their innovations in the Most Innovative Process, Technology or Service Supporting the F&B Industry Category included: Solar Foods Solar Foods is a visionary food-tech company that develops revolutionary fermentation-based innovations for food production at a global level. As an active player in solving the global food and nutrition crisis, Solar Foods provides new solutions that secure the sustainable use of natural resources by disconnecting food production from agriculture. Solar Foods produces the world’s most sustainable protein: Solein® and are on their way to make Solein® the magic ingredient for future food.

Rival Foods At Rival Foods, they provide a disruptive solution for small- to intermediatescale production of the next generation plant-based protein products. This is made possible by a completely new process developed by Rival Foods: one that allows for the transformation of plant-based ingredients into truly innovative and culinary plant-based whole-cuts. These products are similar to animal protein products in size (0,5+ square meter) and thickness (2-3 cm thick), have a remarkable meat-like or fish-like structure with fibres and/or layers oriented along the length of the product, have a high moisture content and liquid release upon compression.

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Cellular Agriculture Ltd Cellular Agriculture Ltd is addressing the technological bottlenecks of the cultured meat industry by establishing the most efficient industrial bioprocess. Scale, and more importantly, peak efficiency will allow cells to be produced at a price parity to traditional meat. With over 40 companies in the cultured meat landscape, Cellular Agriculture is already a second-generation business; they are not concentrated on food products but the first to solely focus on enabling technology to scale and expedite the growth of an industry. They have already delivered a proof of concept bioreactor system, which has been publicly displayed at Nemo Science Museum in Amsterdam and are building partnerships across the value chain to bring this technology to market.

Connecting Food Connecting Food helps food industrials rebuild consumer trust. Today, shoppers want to know everything about the food they buy: Where was it produced? By whom? And how? Connecting Food leverage blockchain technology to track, in real time, all food production from the farm to the consumer. What makes them unique is their LiveAudit® module: they are able to digitally audit 100% of the production, batch to batch, to ensure the product’s requirements are respected at all times. We improve customer experience by connecting shoppers with the brands through a simple scan of a QR code, providing chosen traceability information and audit results. Connecting Food is the first food transparency blockchain platform in Europe, operational in more than 5 countries.

Sphera Encapsulation SpherAQ are high-quality encapsulates, totally soluble in water, which can be consumed without the addition of any flavours or aromas. This is a cuttingedge technology developed by Sphera Encapsulation in order to overcome the major challenges related to the intake of bio-active lipophilic ingredients, such as oils. The main points that have been addressed when it comes to this type of molecules are their scarce bioavailability, their insolubility in water and their low stability. The SpherAQ technology enables the creation of real barriers between the active ingredient and the external environment, in so doing, protecting this active ingredient from the harsh condition of the gastric media and the action of metabolic enzymes, whilst making the molecules easy to handle and very stable to temperature and oxidation. Totally tasteless and odourless, 100% natural and water-soluble, SpherAQ encapsulates can hold any lipophilic ingredient, making it easy to incorporate in any product – from food to beverages – they can even be taken directly as a supplement. In vivo studies on different ingredients encapsulated with this system have confirmed an increased bioavailability and a supreme protection of the active ingredients inside SpherAQ.

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Disruptive Innovation: Reshaping the food systems of tomorrow