Winning ingredients at Fi Europe 2021

Fi Europe 2021 was recently held in Frankfurt – with much industry interest always focused on its associated Innovation Awards that celebrate people, companies and organisations breaking new ground in the food & beverage ingredients industry. Here are the winners and finalists this year…

The Fi Innovation Awards are very prestigious awards in the global food & beverage industry. Achievements in various categories are assessed by an esteemed jury of industry professionals, chaired by Prof. Colin Dennis, CBE, PhD, FIFST, FIFT, FIAFST, CFS, Csci.

One of South Africa’s ingredient doyennes, Rosie Maguire of In Essence, was on this panel!

The Fi Europe Innovation Awards 2021 were open only to companies and organisations who exhibited at Fi Europe Online 2021 and/or at the in-person Fi Europe, co-located with Hi Europe 2021 event.

All the winners and finalists Fi Europe Innovation Awards 2021

The Fi Europe 2021 Innovation Awards & Startup Innovation Challenge nominees presented a plethora of ingredient expertise, with key industry themes such as sustainability and plant-based product development making the shortlist, mirroring current market trends and developments.

They presented their submissions in a final pitch to the jury behind closed doors, with winners announced live during Fi Europe 2021, on November 30 and December 1, 2021. 

Clean Label & Natural Innovation Award

  • WINNER! Bunge Loders Croklaan (The Netherlands) for Karibon, a 100% shea-based cocoa butter equivalent (CBE) that combines all the processing benefits and versatility of leading CBEs with the nutritional and sustainability benefits of shea. 
  • MartinoRossi Spa (Italy) for its Meat Substitute Mix Ragù, a plant-based Bolognese- style sauce mix that is allergen-, GMO- and gluten-free.
  • Millbo (Italy) for X-Tra Guard, a natural ingredient that eliminates the need for the preservative sorbic acid derived entirely from the natural botanical components of rowan berries.
  • Lutkala (Poland) for their food thickener Lutkala, a natural replacement for chemical or synthetic thickeners such as pectins, modified starch or xanthan gum.

Food Tech Innovation Award

  • WINNER! Chr. Hansen (Denmark) for its FreshQ food cultures, enabling fermentation-based biological protection against yeast and molds without undesirable sensory effects and acidity development, thus helping producers prolong shelf life and quality naturally. 
  • AAK (Sweden) for AkoBisc GO!, a structured, emulsion-facilitating process in biscuit production that offers longer shelf life and multiple sensorial benefits.
  • ICL Food Specialties (US) for its JOHA SF Line of emulsifying salts used to optimize protein content in processed cheese, offering various benefits.

Health Innovation Award

  • WINNER! NutriLeads (The Netherlands) for BeniCaros, a proprietary ingredient for immune health that has been clinically proven to support immune function and optimize response to potential threats and stresses.
  • ADM (US) for its HT-BPL1 postbiotic, an ingredient targeting the gut microbiome that can be used by food and beverage manufacturers in a variety of applications requiring heat processing conditions. 
  • Arjuna Natural (India) for Rhuleave-K with its unique SPEED technology for the “first natural formula for safe and effective pain management.” 
  • Bunge Loders Croklaan (The Netherlands) for NuliGo, a uniquely structured medium and long-chain triglyceride that supports muscle building, maintenance and recovery, ideal for sports nutrition, healthy aging and medical foods.
  • Vaneeghen – Futureceuticals (The Netherlands) for S7, a plant-based formula containing seven phytonutrient-rich botanicals proven in clinical studies to help increase nitric oxide and reduce oxidative stress.

Plant-based Innovation Award

  • WINNER! DSM (The Netherlands) for Maxavor Fish YE, a natural fish flavor derived from algal oil for producing authentic fish alternatives, including vegetarian fish nuggets and vegan fish sauce.
  • DSM (The Netherlands) for Delvo Plant, a unique portfolio of enzymes helping to improve the nutritional value of plant-based drinks and create gluten-reduced dairy alternative varieties with optimized taste, texture and mouthfeel.
  • Sprau (Finland) for the germinated fava bean Sprau. Germination allows the full nutritional potential of the fava bean to unfold without digestive discomfort or a “beany” flavor.

Sensory Innovation Award

  • WINNER! AAK (Sweden) for AkoBisc GO!, a biscuit fat that is low in saturated fatty acids and free from tropical fats, offering a unique sensory biscuit quality, with a crunchy bite, no fat bloom and no discoloration over time.
  • Cargill (US) for Bright White Chocolate that replaces regular, yellowish white chocolate while keeping the familiar ingredients list.

Sustainability Innovation Award

  • WINNER! Fonterra Cooperative Group/NZMP (New Zealand) for acting on climate change today through carbon zero capability with its recently launched first carbonzero certified ingredient – Organic Butter.
  • AAK (Sweden) for enabling chocolate to make deforestation-free claims with ILLEXAO SC 70, which is a plant-based ingredient for chocolate and confectionery. 

“What we can see is that for many companies, innovation and further development continue even in the current climate, which is by no means an easy task,” notes Julien Bonvallet, brand director of Informa Markets. 

“And the results are impressive. The shortlisted companies are all making an important contribution to the issues and demands that are driving the industry.”

See more here:

Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge – 6th Edition

The Fi Global Startup Innovation Challenge gives startups the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a jury of R&D experts, investors, and major F&B industry company representatives. Here are the finalists and winners.

Category 1: Most Innovative Plant-Based or Alternative Ingredient

  • WINNER! Sophie’s BioNutrients (The Netherlands/Singapore) for developing a new and sustainable plant-based protein from microalgae.
  • Moolec Science (UK) for producing real animal proteins in plants to develop affordable, animal-free ingredients. 
  • SACCHA (Germany) for extracting proteins from microorganisms such as brewer’s yeast that are similar to egg protein, but without the egg, allowing manufacturers to create authentic alternatives to animal products.
  • Time-Travelling Milkman (The Netherlands) for producing and distributing plant-based fat components for creamier, healthier and more sustainable plant-based products. 
  • Update Foods (France) for producing the next generation of alternative dairy powered by algae and fava protein.

Category 2: Most Innovative F&B Ingredient or Processing Technology 

  • WINNER! NoPalm Ingredients (The Netherlands) for replacing palm oil as an ingredient in food, cosmetics and detergents to reduce carbon emissions and save tropical rainforests.
  • California Cultured (US) for growing non-GMO chocolate from cocoa stem cells via cell culture technology, which produces chocolate that neither is affected by deforestation nor elicits the exploitation of farmers.
  • Eighth Day Foods (Australia) for enabling food manufacturers to produce pioneering, premium, plant-based products under their own trusted brands.
  • Hoow Foods Pte Ltd (Singapore) for promoting healthy living through improved nutrition by using deep insights into foods and ingredients to create sustainable and more nutritious foods. 
  • Umami Meats (Singapore) for producing delicious, nutritious and healthy cultivated fish that promote the future of sustainable seafood. 

Category 3: Most Innovative Service or Technology Supporting F&B

  • WINNER! Allozymes (Singapore) for applying its proprietary platform technology to develop novel enzymes, revolutionizing how industry can rapidly produce complex natural products.
  • Mi Terro (US) for its unique approach to using Big Data to develop compostable, alternative, single-use plastic packaging from plant-based agricultural waste.
  • (Israel) for its proprietary, breakthrough enzyme technology platform that converts high-calorie sugars found in natural juices into virtually calorie-free sugars, such as allulose.

See more here: