The Fi Europe Innovation Awards and Startup Innovation Challenge has announced its 28 finalists, as chosen by a jury of professionals from all areas of the food industry. The finalists will present their submissions in a final pitch to the jury behind closed doors, and winners will be announced live during the event, co-located with Hi Europe, on 30 November and 1 December. Topics such as sustainability and plant-based top the shortlist, mirroring market trends.
The Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge 2021 is separated into three categories. In the category of Most Innovative Plant-Based or Alternative Ingredient, the finalists are Moolec Science, SACCHA, Sophie’s BioNutrients, Time-Travelling Milkman and Update Foods. The companies are creating products such as plant-based protein from microalgae, and alternative dairy powered by faba protein.
In the category of Most Innovative F&B Ingredient or Processing Technology, the finalists are California Cultured, Eighth Day Foods, Hoow Foods, NoPalm Ingredients and Umami Meats. California Cultured grows non-GMO chocolate from cocoa stem cells to avoid the deforestation and exploitation associated with cocoa farming, while NoPalm Ingredients creates alternatives for palm oil in food, cosmetic and detergent formulations.
For the Most Innovative Service or Technology Supporting F&B award, Allozymes, Mi Terro and Ambrosia.bio have made the shortlist. These companies are focused on platform technology for the development of enzymes, and big data for the creation of alternative single-use plastic packaging from agricultural waste.
As well as the Startup Challenge, the event will recognise several established companies in various categories. For the Clean Label and Natural Innovation award, Bunge Loders Croklaan, MartinoRossi Spa, Millbo and Lutkala are finalists, while in the area of Food Tech Innovation, AAK, Chr. Hansen, ICL Food Specialties will compete.
In Health Innovation, ADM’s HT-BPL1 postbiotic is competing against Arjuna Natural’s Rhuleave-K, Bunge Loders Crokllan’s NuliGo, NutriLeads’ BeniCaros and vaneeghen’s S7.
DSM has two products in the finals of the Plant-based Innovation Award, which are up against the germinated faba bean Sprau, while AAK and Cargill are the finalists of the Sensory Innovation Award.
Finally, the Sustainability Innovation Award will see the judges decide between AAK’s ILLEXAO SC 70 plant-based ingredient and Fonterra Cooperative Group’s Organic Butter carbon zero ingredient.
Julien Bonvallet, Brand Director Informa Markets, said: “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."