Fi Global Insights is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Startup Innovation Challenge

Startup Innovation Challenge 2021: Recognising innovative projects in food ingredients & technology

Article-Startup Innovation Challenge 2021: Recognising innovative projects in food ingredients & technology

The Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge has been recognizing innovative projects in food ingredients and technology since 2016.

Startups are offered an opportunity to showcase their innovations and meet the industry's leading ingredient professionals. 

The Startup Innovation Challenge aims to not only connect startups with investors and venture funds, but also to provide them with a platform to introduce themselves to the wider F&B industry. Valuable feedback is received by startups about various aspects of their innovations following the evaluation of our jury of food experts. This year, three category winners have been crowned.

Sophie’s BioNutrients have been selected as the Most Innovative Plant-Based or Alternative Ingredient. The company has developed a unique fermentation technology that allows them to produce protein from microalgae fuelled by industrial food waste. This contributes to a circular economy whilst also reducing the carbon footprint.


When asked about what winning this award means to them, co-founder and CEO, Eugene Wang had the following to say:

“Receiving this award means a lot! First of all, it is confirmation that we are on the right track. Secondly, it helps us to spread our message to more people. We want to show them that this is the future – and this award does just that.”

NoPalm Ingredients were selected as the Most Innovative F&B Ingredient or Processing Technology startup in this year’s challenge. As the name suggests, they are on a mission to replace palm oil as an ingredient in food, cosmetics and detergents to reduce carbon emissions and save tropical rainforests. To produce their microbial oil, the company fuel their yeasts with any side stream that contains sugars, fatty-acids, or alcohols. The microbial oil is extracted from the biomass, which is then sold to companies to use as either a pure or fraction replacement. Additionally, it is also non-GMO and vegan-friendly.

“The award is great recognition that we are on the right path and that there is a bright future to come, and we are therefore very humbled to have won against such great competitors,” said co-founder and CEO, Lars Langhout.


Allozymes were crowned winners amongst this year’s Most Innovative Service or Technology Supporting F&B finalists. Their technology is said to be game-changing, as it offers the F&B industry a way to develop new enzymes at a rapidly faster pace than traditional methods. Allozymes aims to revolutionise the way industry produces complex natural products.

“Being recognized as the most innovative technology supporting F&B as a first winner in Food ingredients Global proves that we are achieving our mission,” said co-founder and CEO, Peyman Salehian.

The Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony was held live at the Innovation Hub at Fi Europe 2021, co-located with Hi Europe, on 1 December 2021, and was also streamed to Fi Europe Online. In case you’ve missed it, you can watch the Awards Ceremony here.

TAGS: Innovation