Informa Markets, show organizer of Fi Europe CONNECT, announced the winners of this year’s Innovation Awards and the Startup Innovation Challenge for their groundbreaking offerings during virtual award ceremonies held on December first and second.

Plant-based and alternative ingredients took center stage in both awards, with winners presenting solutions for healthier plant proteins, fungal-derived food colorants and edible coatings for fruit and vegetables, among many other cutting-edge innovations. Because of this year’s pandemic, contest participants’ entry reviews and presentations, jury evaluations and awards ceremonies all took place virtually.

Winners of the Fi Europe Innovation Awards 2020

Food Tech Innovation Award: NETZSCH Trockenmahltechnik GmbH (Germany)

This award recognizes an organization or company that has submitted an innovative technical processing /manufacturing /packaging /waste reduction solution or service for food ingredients or finished products. Preference is given to entries introduced within the last 2 years. With the ATEX-compliant Condux® Compact System, NETZSCH has developed a space-saving, less cost-intensive grinding plant.

Ingredient Innovation Award: ADM (Switzerland)

This award recognizes an organization or company that has submitted the best ingredient or process in terms of sensory and physical properties or application costs. Preference is given to entries introduced within the last 2 years. With the ingredient ProFam® Pea from ADM, healthier and more sustainable products based on plant proteins can be produced, all of which are convincing in terms of taste and sensory properties.

Sustainability Innovation Award: In this category, the jury awarded a High Commendation to two finalists: Olam International Ltd (UK) and Solercool Technologies LLC (USA). This award recognizes an organization or company for a measurable supply chain strategy that champions environmental, economic or socially sustainable practices in the F&B industry. Preference is given to entries introduced within the last 2 years.

With its platform AtSource, Olam International Ltd. has set itself the goal of making supply chains for coffee, cocoa, cashews, cotton and rice transparent to the consumer in terms of sustainability.

Solercool Technologies has developed a solar-powered refrigeration technology that enables African farmers to reduce rapid, heat-related food degradation after harvest.

Winners of the Startup Innovation Challenge 2020

Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient: Michroma (Argentina/USA)

This category recognizes innovations related to food and beverage ingredients or additives from an animal/plant/alternative source. Michroma uses the CRISPR method to modify the genome of filamentous fungal strains, which then produce powerful ingredients in a bioreactor. The first fruits of this work are food colorants that are stable even at extreme pH values and temperatures.

Most Innovative Processing Technology: Sufresca (Israel)

This category recognizes innovations related to food processing technologies that have the potential to positively impact the F&B industry. Sufresca develops edible coatings for fruit and vegetables that extend shelf life, and avoid plastic packaging, even for products that are traditionally difficult to coat, such as peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Most Innovative Service or Technology Supporting F&B: Enyzmit (Israel)

This category recognizes innovations that support improvements in ingredients sourcing and production, food safety, traceability, transparency, or supply chain management. The winner of this category, Enzymit, can quickly develop tailor-made enzymes or improve existing enzymes using algorithm-based protein design.

About Fi Global

Food ingredients Global was launched in Utrecht, The Netherlands, in 1986. Its portfolio of live events, extensive data, digital solutions and high-level conferences is now established throughout the world and provides regional and global platforms for all stakeholders in the food ingredients industry. Since 2018, Food ingredients Global has been part of the Informa Markets portfolio.