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Fi Innovation awards

Shining a light on positive change: Meet the finalists of the Fi Europe Innovation Awards

Article-Shining a light on positive change: Meet the finalists of the Fi Europe Innovation Awards

© Fi Europe Fi Europe 2023 Innovation Awards finalists announced
Fi Europe has announced the finalists of the Innovation Awards. From startups to multinationals and non-profits, the finalists showcase the best of the ingredient industry’s efforts to make food and drink products healthier, more sustainable, and more delicious.

The Fi Europe Innovation Awards celebrate the people, companies, and organisations breaking new ground in the food and drink industry and are a chance for the winners to receive the recognition they deserve for their achievements.

The 20 finalists across the six categories highlight the diversity of the food industry itself, ranging from large multinationals to small startups and from non-profit organisations to contract research organisations.

The panel of judges, composed of esteemed industry professionals, will rigorously assess each nomination in the six categories behind closed doors during Fi Europe and winners will be announced at the prestigious Innovation Awards ceremony on 28 November at the Movenpick hotel in Frankfurt during Fi Europe.

The judging panel is chaired by Prof. Colin Dennis, chair of the board of trustees at IFIS and the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) and includes João Brites, director of growth & innovation at non-profit HowGood; Efi Leontopoulou, manager of scientific and regulatory affairs, at EAS Strategies; and Ian D. Healey, editorial director, at Dr. Harnisch Publications.

Angelique Cachia, senior content and digital director at Fi Europe, said: “By shining a light on some of the brightest innovations in the food ingredient industry, the Fi Europe Innovation Awards aim to reward the efforts of companies and organisations. It is our hope that they will spur on further investment and advances in the food sector, which has a huge global impact on public health, nutrition, our environment, and more.

We would like to thank all of the companies and organisations who entered the Innovation Awards and wish all the finalists the best of luck.


The category finalists of the Fi Europe 2023 Innovation Awards are:

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.

Cargill for its efforts to boost regenerative agriculture farming practices across Europe through its Cargill RegenConnect® programme.

KOA Switzerland for its efforts to introduce a new ingredient to the value chain by upcycling the cocoa pulp to provide extra income for farmers.

Ofi for its efforts to advance climate action through its Carbon Scenario Planner (CSP).

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.

Cargill for its Program Awalé 2.0, which empowers women and young entrepreneurs in Côte d’Ivoire.

Solidaridad for its efforts to promote women in farming through its Feminisation of Agriculture Supply Chains programme.

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.

Bunge for its Beleaf™ PlantBetter, a plant-based milk fat replacer that matches dairy milk fat on taste and texture.

ChickP Protein for its functional pure 90% isolate chickpea protein.

Enough for ABUNDA Mycoprotein, a protein alternative that is sustainable, affordable and healthy.

Ferm Food for its clean label multifunctional binders made by applying solid-state lacto-fermentation to grains such as rye, oats, and wheat.

Hi-Food & Alianza Team for 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.

AAK 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.

Corbion for PURAC® Powder MAX, an ingredient range that allows manufacturers to make acid panned and tablet confections with a superior sour taste.

Handary for its ingredient, Fixolor® MX, a compartmentalized malolactic enzyme that safely stabilises the colour of beef.

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.

ADM for ES1 (Bifidobacterium longum CECT 7347) and the heat-treated postbiotic version that are clinically proven to help support digestive and gastrointestinal health.

Cornille SAS for PROBEEF®, a nutritious ingredient made by a low-carbon upcycling process that adds value to food-grade beef fat in slaughterhouses and can prevent undernutrition in children and adults.

MycoTech 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.

Arbiom for its ingredient, Yusto, a next generation protein for meat and dairy alternatives made via yeast fermentation and plant-based feedstocks.

ANDRITZ for its disruptive extraction technology that adds value to plant materials by making functional nutrients and health supplements from by-products.

FrieslandCampina Professional 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.

NIZO for its biopurification process, a novel approach to removing unwanted molecules such as off-flavours from plant-based proteins using lactic acid bacteria or yeasts.