Fi Europe CONNECT 2020 is proud to be showcasing innovation in a whole new way, by virtually hosting the 5th edition of the Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge. Being more than just a contest, this specialised support programme aims to act as catalyst for rewarding startups with truly original ideas and innovations targeted at the F&B industry.
The Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge brings you the latest and newest ideas from startups focusing on food or beverage ingredients or additives that improve taste, texture, appearance and/or nutritional value, as well as those startups developing processes, technologies and/or services that support the F&B industry.
With the talented line-up of finalists competing for this year’s Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge, our judges certainly seem to have their work cut out for them! For now, however, we have the great pleasure of introducing to you, our finalists and categories for this year:
Category 1: Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient
Paragon Pure works with nature to enhance the nutrition, sustainability and authenticity of packaged foods. They create high-performance specialty flours by guiding traditional grain sprouting processes towards precise functional properties. Paragon Pure’s flours can be used to replace additives and deliver natural flavours, colours and nutrients into wholesome foods.
Michroma is a biotech platform producing natural ingredients in a sustainable, scalable, and cost-effective way. They are using Synbio to unleash the potential of filamentous fungi and develop proprietary strains capable of producing high-performance ingredients in bioreactors. Michroma’s first products are extremely pH and thermal stable food colourants that are being prototyped with some of the top F&B and cosmetic companies in the world. They are also producing mycoprotein and have many more ingredients to come. They were accelerated by Indiebio (Batch 9) and form part of Mista. Michroma is based in Rosario, Argentina (R&D) and San Francisco, CA (Business)
Cultured Decadence is a Wisconsin-based company developing a system to make crustacean products directly from the animals’ cells using cell-culture and tissue engineering, creating a cost-effective alternative to wild harvest aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This technology will enable the production of the high-value portions of crab and lobsters to start (no shell, no organs, no waste), expand customer access to products and reduce the need to continually harvest these creatures in the wild.
Category 2: Most Innovative Processing Technology
Sufresca develops edible coatings for fruits and vegetables that prolong shelf life and help create a plastic-free world, where costly food loss and waste is a thing of the past. Sufresca, a young Agri-tech startup (Jan 2020), developing a few types of innovative edible coatings, particularly those that are notoriously challenging to coat (pepper, tomato, and cucumber), for postharvest extended shelf-life of fresh fruits & vegetables, and bulbs like garlic and onion. Sufresca is commercialising a technology that wasdeveloped at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for the past 10 years.
The alternative meat industry is urgently looking for new technologies to go beyond plant-based burgers, and to achieve the generation of plant-based whole-muscle cuts. After releasing the world's most realistic plant-based beef steak and pork fibrous meat in 2020, NOVAMEAT is currently scaling up the technology to provide plant-based meat manufacturers with superior tools to mimic several types of meat and seafood, achieving different textures from a wide variety of ingredients.
Legendary Vish develop plant-based seafood with 3D Food Printing, producing sustainable and tasty salmon fillets without destruction of the marine ecosystem.
Tebrito develop premium plug and play protein ingredients for the food industry – from insects. Refined products mean increased customer acceptance. Tebrito’s unique extraction process is market leading with regards to both the white colour over time, as well as the unique high protein content. They’ve also solved the usual issues experienced with regards to powder browning.
Category 3: Most Innovative Technology or Service Supporting the F&B industry
Kiinns – a food-safety startup – is developing a unique technology that, for the first time, eliminates the need to clean food processing equipment in industrial kitchens and food production lines by isolating the equipment surface from getting in contact with the processed food. This unique solution has extreme implications on food safety -a critical issue for food producers worldwide. In the US alone, costs for foodborne illnesses are estimated at 94 billion dollars annually. Kiinns’ solution is environmentally friendly, minimises environmental impact and substantially reduces operational costs for food producers.
Innoscentia enable the paradigm shift of food labelling by showing the food’s status in real time, throughout the entire value chain. The actual food status is measured with smart labels based on their patented, reactive ink. Innoscentia’s smart labels indicate the real time food status, both visually to consumers and digitally to blockchain systems. Food waste is a global issue. Labelling the problem, is the solution.
Spoontainable developed the first edible ice cream spoon made of residuals of the food industry. The edible spoon is the first product and consists of the shells of the cocoa bean, it can be eaten afterwards and provide a circular economy for customers and users.
FlavorWiki is a unique consumer insights and data management solution designed specifically for the food and beverage industry. Using digital technology to capture individual consumer insights at scale with a focus on taste perception and preference, FlavorWiki’s goal is to accelerate the food industry by offering an affordable solution that delivers insights with 10X the reach of existing methods. Since launching their technology, they have unlocked applications for taste data across the food value chain which were never possible before.
Enyzmit's technological platform allows for dramatic improvement upon existing enzymes on multiple parameters including thermal-stability, expression, specificity and activity, which they are able to provide in extremely short time frames, of typically under one month. Enzymit is currently offering this capability as a service to different strategic industry partners. However, more exciting, using their technology, they are able to design novel enzymes currently unattainable by their competitors. Presently, their company focus is on the development of enzymes capable of generating novel sweetener molecules which they plan to license to specific strategic industry partners.
To gain a bit of insight into what the innovation landscape of tomorrow looks like for the F&B industry, join us at Fi Europe CONNECT 2020, launching on 23 November – 4 December.
Our jury members include: