The Fi Innovation Awards jury is chaired by Prof. Colin Dennis and consists of a variety of industry professionals from consultancy, management, product development and journalism. This year some categories were particularly challenging to judge, due to the very high-quality submissions the jury received.
Jury chair Prof Colin Dennis commented:
"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."
This year’s ground-breaking innovations are recognised across six categories. The Clean Label & Natural Innovation Award was received by Bunge Loders Croklaan for Karibon, a 100% shea-based cocoa butter equivalent (CBE) with greater nutritional and sustainability benefits. The Food Tech Innovation Award went to Chr. Hansen A/S for its FreshQ® food cultures that assist food producers to naturally prolong shelf-life and quality. The Health Innovation Award was handed over to NutriLeads for BeniCaros™ which has been scientifically proven to accelerate immune response.
DSM received the Plant-based Innovation Award for Maxavor® Fish YE, a natural fish flavour derived from algal oil. The Sensory Innovation Award went to AAK for AkoBisc® GO! which is a biscuit fat that offers a unique sensory quality with a crunchy bite, with no resulting fat bloom or discoloration over time, and with the aim tackling climate change, Fonterra Cooperative Group/NZMP received the Sustainability Innovation Award for their first, recently launched carbonzero™ certified ingredient, Organic Butter.
The Fi Innovation Awards not only recognises outstanding ingredients and concepts in the fields of health, sustainability, sensory and technology innovation, but it also validates the value and impact of these innovations on the industry as well as recognising the intensive development efforts.
According to Dr Erik Dam, CEO at NutriLeads, this is a major recognition for their small team which has only been on the market since 2012.
“The fact that we now hold an Fi Innovation Award in our hands with our very first product is wonderful recognition of our efforts,” he explained.
Dr Ing Renee Boerefijn, Director Innovation EMEA at Bunge Loders Croklaan, said that this award is an enormous confirmation of the real contribution they are making to the industry.
“Until now, only blends of shea and palm oil were available as an alternative to cacao butter,” he noted.
But now, with Karibon, they can offer all the benefits of leading CBE’s also contribute to environmental and social sustainability as they help provide additional income for the rural families in West Africa.
The Fi Innovation Awards Ceremony was held live at the Innovation Hub at Fi Europe 2021, co-located with Hi Europe, on 30 November 2021, and was also streamed to Fi Europe Online. In case you’ve missed it, you can watch the Awards Ceremony here.