2023 Fi Innovation Awards: F&B Industry Leaders
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2023 Fi Innovation Awards: F&B Industry Leaders

  • 29 November 2023

The Fi Innovation Awards are all about celebrating those who are pushing boundaries and effecting positive change in the food and beverage sector. A panel of respected industry experts, chaired by Prof. Colin Dennis, judged the awards. This year, 20 finalists competed in six different categories, with the judging panel deciding behind closed doors after each presentation on November 27.

Prof. Dennis commented on this year's judging process, saying, "It's always challenging to judge the Fi Innovation Awards because the calibre of entries is incredibly high. What stood out this year was the focus on innovation for healthier, more sustainable eating, which is encouraging in a world often focused on problems."

The 2023 award winners and commendations

  • Sustainability Innovation: Ofi emerged as the winner for its Carbon Scenario Planner, while KOA received a commendation for introducing a new ingredient into the value chain by upcycling cocoa pulp.
  • Plant-based Innovation: Hi-Food & Alianza Team won for their Mirror Tissue, alongside ChickP Protein for their pure 90% isolate chickpea protein.
  • Sensory Innovation: Corbion took home the award for PURAC® Powder MAX, with AAK getting a commendation for CEBESTM Choco 15.
  • Health Innovation: MycoTech was awarded for FermentIQ PTP, a shiitake fermented pea and rice protein powder.
  • Food Tech Innovation: FrieslandCampina Professional won for its Kievit Vana Cappa X01 Foam Booster, and NIZO was commended for its biopurification process.
  • Diversity & Inclusion Innovation: Solidaridad won for promoting women in farming, and Cargill was commended for its Program Awalé 2.0.

Carolien Roseboom, Global Marketing Lead at FrieslandCampina Professional, expressed pride in the Foam Booster's recognition, highlighting its potential for creating sensory novelties and solving foam stability issues.

Supporting startups in F&B innovation

The eighth edition of the Startup Innovation Challenge provided a platform for young companies to showcase their innovative F&B ingredients and technologies to a global audience.

The 2023 startup winners

  • Most Innovative Food & Beverage Ingredient: EQUII
  • Most Innovative Plant-Based or Alternative Ingredient: Arkeon
  • Most Innovative Processing Technology or Technology Platform: NIUM
  • Most Innovative Service or AI Solution Supporting the F&B Industry: Deep Detection
  • Most Innovative Sustainable Solution (Jury's Choice): Planet A Foods and WNWN Food Labs

Michael Mitsakos, Co-Founder and President of Arkeon, shared his excitement about their approach to amino acid production using CO2, recognized as valuable by the jury.

Source: FI