The winners of the Fi Europe Innovation Awards, which took place on the first day of the ingredients trade show in Frankfurt, have been announced. Almost 20 finalists presented entries to the jury chaired by Prof Colin Dennis, which was narrowed down to six winners who all "address current consumer trends with their solutions - from gut and immune health, to naturalness and sustainability".
During the ceremony, which was also streamed live online, the jury presented awards to Bunge Loders Croklaan Chr. Hansen and Nutrileads, in the Clean Label & Natural innovation, Food Tech innovation and Health innovation categories respectively. DSM was recognised with the Plant-based innovation award, while the Sensory and Sustainability innovation awards went to AAK and Fonterra Cooperative Group respectively.
Dr Ing Renee Boerefijn, Director Innovation EMEA at Bunge Loders Croklaan, said: “Until now, only blends of shea and palm oil were available as an alternative to cacao butter,“ he says. “With Karibon, we can offer a pure shea ingredient for chocolate bars, coatings and other applications. Our suppliers are women's cooperatives from West Africa who collect shea to provide additional income for their families. Our ingredient is clean label while contributing to environmental and social sustainability.“
Erik Dam, CEO at NutriLeads, said: “We are a small team and have only been on the market since 2012,“ he explains. “The fact that we now hold an Fi Innovation Award in our hands with our very first product is wonderful recognition of our efforts. BeniCaros™ is derived from by-products of carrot juice production and scientifically proven to accelerate the immune response, therefore addressing several consumer trends at once."
Prof Colin Dennis, who is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of both IFIS and the British Nutrition Foundation, said: "We have seen many evidence-based, top-quality submissions. This means the benefits of an ingredient or concept have been either scientifically proven, or convincing from a technological standpoint, or from a solid analysis of production costs and economic viability."