The Fi Europe Innovation Awards celebrate the people, companies, and organisations that are blazing a trail in the food and drink industry and are a chance for the winners to receive the recognition they deserve for their achievements.
After many hours of deliberation, the judges of the Fi Europe Innovation Awards chose a winner in each category. The results were announced at a ceremony held at Fi Europe in Frankfurt.
Sustainability Innovation Award
This awards an organisation or company for a measurable supply system that demonstrates environmental, economic and/or socially sustainable practices in the food and drink industry. Preference will be given to systems introduced or significantly improved within the past two years.
Ofi won first prize for its efforts to advance climate action through its Carbon Scenario Planner (CSP).
Swiss scale-up KOA Switzerland was highly commended thanks to its efforts to introduce a new ingredient to the value chain by upcycling the cocoa pulp to provide extra income for farmers.
Diversity & Inclusion Innovation Award
This awards an organisation or company for creating a work environment that offers equal opportunities for all employees, irrespective of their gender, race, religious background, sexual orientation, and physical or mental ability. Preference will be given to practices introduced/significantly improved within the past two years. This award is open to non-exhibiting companies, organisations and associations.
Solidaridad won first prize for its efforts to promote women in farming through its Feminisation of Agriculture Supply Chains programme.
Cargill was highly commended for its Program Awalé 2.0, which empowers women and young entrepreneurs in Côte d’Ivoire.
Plant-based Innovation Award
This award recognises an organisation or company that has developed the best plant-based ingredient, or application based on plant-based ingredient, in terms of sensory and physical properties or application costs. Preference will be given to ingredients or applications introduced within the past two years.
This year, two companies were jointly awarded first prize in this highly contended category: ChickP, which makes a functional pure 90% isolate chickpea protein, and Hi-Food & Alianza Team Europe, for its ingredients Mirror Tissue, a range of oil-based emulsions that are designed to mimic the functional, structural, and sensory attributes of animal fats.
Sensory Innovation Award
This awards an organisation or company that has developed the best ingredient or process in terms of enhancing the sensory experience of food products, such as taste, texture, smell and/or appearance, without significantly increasing application costs. Preference will be given to ingredient/process introduced within the past two years.
Corbion scooped up first prize for PURAC® Powder MAX, an ingredient range that allows manufacturers to make acid panned and tablet confections with a superior sour taste.
AAK was highly commended for CEBESTM Choco 15, an ingredient that improves the cocoa flavour in cocoa butter substitutes, thus enhancing the overall sensory characteristics of the final chocolate product.
Health Innovation Award
This awards an organisation or company for the development of the best ingredient or application in terms of proven contribution to digestive, cognitive, immune or physical health. Preference will be given to entries ingredient/application introduced within the past two years.
The judges awarded US scale-up MycoTech first prize in this category for FermentIQ PTP, a shiitake fermented pea and rice protein powder that helps unlock the nutritional potential of plant proteins by improving protein quality and digestibility.
Food Tech Innovation Award
This awards an organisation or company that has developed an innovative technical/processing/manufacturing/packaging/waste reduction solution or service for food ingredients or finished products. Preference will be given to solutions/services introduced within the past two years.
FrieslandCampina Professional won first prize for its Kievit Vana Cappa X01 Foam Booster, which produces nitrogen bubbles at high pressure in powdered form and allows consumers to create a frothy cappuccino coffee instantly.
The judges deemed NIZO to be highly commended in this category thank to its biopurification process, a novel approach to removing unwanted molecules such as off-flavours from plant-based proteins using lactic acid bacteria or yeasts.