SPECIAL REPORT: Start-Up Innovation Challenge 2017 – The Nominees


28 Nov 2016 --- Agroparc, the French pole of excellence in Food Intelligence, based in Avignon (France) and UBM, have joined forces to launch the Start-Up Innovation Challenge. This Challenge is aimed at the promotion of international innovative projects on ingredients during Health Ingredients Europe, which is being held in Frankfurt, Germany this week. 

The Start-Up Innovation Challenge rewards ingredient innovation projects that have been carried out by start-ups that have brought something completely new and unexpected to the food and health markets. The Challenge rewards the best Ingredients projects, carried out by less than 3-year-old start-ups or by still developing companies. A “Natural Ingredients” special prize will be given by Naturex, partner of the event, for innovative projects that promote new extraction methods (green tech), plant extracts, ingredients concepts etc. 

Here is a look at the nominees for this year’s award: 

Sciadonics Inc. has developed new-to-the-market, proprietary fatty acid ingredients, with unique sourcing. The anti-inflammatory fatty acids have been lost to industrialization, but are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and ethnic populations and can be combined with other ingredients including fish oil. Their product offerings represent an innovative technology and a game changer in the anti-inflammatory oil space. Sources of their fatty acids, and mixtures thereof, are protected by four patent applications, one granted patent (August 2016). They are now seeking investors to meet milestones on regulatory GRAS/IND, industrial oil scale up, commercialization. Alvin Berger, CEO says: “We are the only company in the world to commercialize and offer conifer oils rich in sciadonic acid for use alone and combined with other lipids, to combat chronic inflammation, improve cardiovascular health, and support ketogenic diets as a healthy fat addition.” 

“Conifer seeds and oils are consumed by indigenous populations globally and in Traditional Chinese Medicine for their anti-inflammatory properties, but are not part of Western diets. We and our colleagues have completed over 20 studies demonstrating anti-inflammatory efficacy in various rodent and human cells models,” he adds. The products are expected to be on the market beginning in 2018, for direct to consumer and other retail channels.

PROLUPIN is a producer of high quality, lupine based plant proteins. They are creating value in the complete supply-chain, from the farmer to the consumer, through their patented extraction process and their own B2C food portfolio and B2B business partners. In contrary to other plant based proteins, their lupine protein-isolate – awarded by The Federal Presidents Award for Innovation and Technology 2014 – enables a sensory neutral product profile, claimed to be unmatched by any other plant protein based food/beverage offer. The company’s local sourceable plant-based protein alternatives ignite the acceptance and usage around the world, without any compromise on your sensorial requirements due to replacing animal protein. MADE WITH LUVE is their umbrella brand for a product range plant-based, vegan, free from GMO, lactose, cholesterol and gluten* (*except pasta). Malte Stampe Prolupin GmbH says: “We already launched our own B2C umbrella brand MADE WITH LUVE June 2015 and actually offer 25 SKUs (see attached portfolio).” 

The company’s future plan is to strengthen their B2C portfolio to showcase superior applications. Stampe notes that the line is already distributed in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with the company having already sold more than 2.5 million CPGs.

Pervida [a division of Biotherapeutics Inc.] develops products containing scientifically sound natural ingredients. The Pervida brand includes health water for glycemic control (ABA) and digestive and immune health (PUA). The product is validated on strong preclinical data and favorable safety profile in 6 animal, in vitro, and in silico models, plus human proof-of-concept data for ABA. The Pervida brand will launch two products in 2017: Pervida Immune health water with PUA and Pervida Sugar Control health water with ABA. The ingredients are natural and have Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) status. The company is seeking financial support to advance Pervida Immune health water for gut and immune health to market and to advance Pervida Sugar Control health water for glucose control. Sandra Einerhand, PHD, Global Head BTI Nutritionals says: “PERVIDA Immune in particular addresses one of the major health concerns of consumers: Gut and immune health. About 30% of the adult population suffers from some kind of gut or immune health related health problem. More than 70% of your immune cells reside in the gut. Therefore, PERVIDA Immune is an ideal product to take in the morning to give your immune system some extra support at the start of each day.” 

PERVIDA Control addresses the prediabetes market. Over 20% of middle-aged adults have pre-diabetes, a condition characterized by impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Obesity is a worldwide problem as globally more people are overweight and/or obesity. These individuals are at risk of getting diabetes. Diabetes affects close to 28 million people in the US and is the seventh leading cause of death worldwide. Einerhand adds: “As the rates of obesity and diabetes continue to rise, an increasingly large number of people are becoming reliant on expensive anti-diabetic drugs with demonstrated adverse side effects. As alternative, natural products with demonstrated track record of efficacy and safety, like our PERVIDA Control, are being positioned as ideal candidates to target this market. PERVIDA Control ideally should be taken just before or during a meal or when you eat a snack as these are the time points that your blood glucose levels are expected to rise.”

Bayn Europe is a knowledge company helping food producers around the world to meet market demands in building a healthier world. Bayn’s solutions reduce sugar in products, creating new, naturally sweetened low calorie diets. Their natural ingredients, refined through scientific research, are developed into innovative, healthy recipes in close partnership with our customers in the global food and beverage industry. Bayn is at the forefront of sugar reduction research in food, cooperating with leading food research institutes and scientists all over the world. The R&D team at Bayn works in close cooperation with the manufacturing partners and external institutes creating a broad research and development platform. Research in industrial solutions, quality testing methods, plant yield improvements and refining technology contributes to the advantages of Bayn’s products.

GreenFood50 develops, manufactures and sells ingredients based on saponin-free quinoa. The company works closely with Wageningen UR and other leading international organizations. GreenFood50’s quinoa ingredients are rich in protein, dietary fiber and Omega 6/9 fatty acid, and are gluten free. These ingredients increase the nutritional value of the products they are incorporated in and fit in with the current “free from” trend. These quinoa ingredients are applied in bakery products, salads, pastas, sauces, beverages, sports nutrition, healthy bars, snacks, vegetarian and gluten free products. In co-operation with Wageningen University & Research, GreenFood50 has developed a comprehensive range of quinoa ingredients: quinoa seeds, quinoa flours, quinoa puffs quinoa crisps, quinoa flakes, quinoa precooked, quinoa proteins, quinoa starches and quinoa fibers. 

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst last week at Food Matters Live London, Marc Arts, Managing Director said: “We only use quinoa grown in the Netherlands and after the quinoa is harvested we process it into all kind of innovative ingredients. The seeds are firstly toasted and then grinded into a very fine powder which makes it an interesting ingredient in sports nutrition applications, shakes and vegan blends.”

“What we are launching now is quinoa which is further fractionated into a fraction which has even more protein, so we have products that have a 20-30 percent protein content for the sports nutrition market,” he explains. 

Arts added: “There is a clear interest in natural ingredients which have as little as possible processing and the trend towards high protein plant based products is also very strong.” 

Neuro-Sys is a privately owned start-up CRO/biotechnology company that offers a wide range of in vitro (to in vivo with partners) services via state of the art screening assays through its proprietary pharmacological platforms. Neuro-Sys’ goal is to provide clients with the highest-quality preclinical efficacy and mode of action contract services for CNS diseases (mainly ALZHEIMER’S, PARKINSON’S, ALS). The platforms owned and developed by Neuro-Sys are designed by nature to accept all kind of entities from the molecule to a natural product itself (plants) by realizing all the steps from the natural product green-extraction to the pharmacological/analytical profile. On the Drug Discovery side, Neuro-Sys develops its proper programs to discover news active compounds coming from South-East Asia medicinal plants. Brand new patented compounds with a proven activity are then proposed to the industry. Yann Jaudouin, CEO says: “Neuro-Sys, composed of pharmacists and neuropharmacologists, identifies and develops novel extracts and ingredients in areas of aging diseases, to deliver cures and relieve suffering for healthier lives. We are capable to identify new active ingredients using innovative green-extraction technics such as ultrasounds and microwaves.” Looking forward, he notes: “Our first program NSP01, patented, is already on the market and under CDA stage. Other active ingredients are currently under study and one under patenting process.”

Alkion BI is a greentech startup that is specialized in the development and production of innovative natural non-GMO active ingredients for human & animal nutrition, agronomy and non-cosmetic fragrances. Alkaburst+, the company’s non-GMO technological platform, enhances the plants super capacities. It allows for the development and production of hyperactive extracts with "hyper" yields (800 times what is obtained on soil today and 2,000 times what is expected in the future). It serves for: sleepy genes expression, the production of new complex molecules and the cryoperservation of plant cells for standardization. The system offers affordable and sustainable conditions, with limited cost of production. The product is free from GMO, pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals. It uses a system of non-destructive technology for the protection of the biodiversity (Nagoya), with sustainable technology with low energy/water consumption and production that is independent of external conditions.

8. 3F BIO
3f bio’s vision is to address global needs for sustainable protein and to commercialize a novel and patented technology for large-scale integrated production of food, fuel and feed. 3f bio’s technology combines an established process for manufacturing mycoprotein as a zero-waste integrated process within a biorefinery. This has a proven market and is relevant and competitive in the $850bn global market for animal protein. Mycoprotein is the protein component in Quorn, which is the branded global market leader in the expanding $3.8bn meat-free market sector. To date, it has solely been commercialized under the trademark Quorn, due to a combined barrier to entry of high capital costs, and a patent which expired in 2010. The 3f process will revolutionize the production and capital economics while delivering an exceptional sustainability profile. The standard mycoprotein fermentation process produces excess sugar, waste protein and effluent, but the novel process of integrating this within a biorefinery transforms the cost of mycoprotein by utilizing lower feedstock and reduced energy costs. This produces lower cost alongside an exceptional sustainability and carbon intensity profile. 3f's business model is to develop this with globally recognized partners with expertise and interest technology implementation, biorefining and a global food/ingredient partner and discussions are advanced in each area. 3fbio’s technology will halve the cost of mycoprotein production making it substantially cheaper than the lowest cost meats, moving it from being a premium vegetarian option to a mainstream low cost source of sustainable protein for global populations. Jim Laird, CEO says that the first application in the market would be 2020 and that the breadth of applications for this are wide and varied, and will extend beyond the current meatfree market definition, and into global markets as a sustainable protein. “The route to market will be in partnership with a lead biorefiner, and ideally with a global ingredient or food company. 3f has confirmed interest from the two largest biorefiners in Europe and the next phase of activity will be the development of the technology solution.” 

“3f mycoprotein has exceptionally low land and water usage and the feed conversion ratio, low carbon emission, low cost and equally importantly advantaged taste and texture make it a genuine solution for global protein requirements,” he says. 

Olygose has developed and patented a plant-based alternative to beta-GOS by extracting pea serum alpha-galacto-oligosaccharides, a co-product of pea protein production (whose volumes are also increasing globally) for the infant milk formula market. Alpha-GOS is marketed under the P-GOS brand have a prebiotic profile similar to those of beta-GOS. They are an alternative to the beta-GOS in formulas for specific populations or for plant-based formulas. Beta-Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS), produced from lactose, are now considered the reference prebiotic in infant formulas due to their effects on the intestinal microbiota as well as on several other physiological functions such as intestinal transit or immunity. The volume of the GOS market is constantly increasing (forecast CAGR 14% between 2014 and 2020) and will reach a volume of about 80,000 tons by 2020. However, due to their dairy origin, beta-GOS is not currently used in specific formulas (ADDFMS) for the management of lactose intolerance or cow's milk protein allergy. Eric Chappuis, Senior Nutrition Science Manager notes: “P-GOS is the unique plant-based Galacto-OligoSaccharide (GOS) available on the market. It is very pure, even in its powder form, and display outstanding microbiological characteristics that make it suitable for infant formulas. It took 7 years to Olygose to develop the product, using a patented process.” 

“Currently, the GOS used on the market are all milk-based GOS. They contain lactose, and are from animal origin. For these reasons, they cannot be used in special formulas such as lactose-free or plant-based ones, whose demand is booming.” 

“Furthermore, our powder, with more than 95% pure GOS on dry matter, is particularly interesting for dry blending: it provides more flexibility to infant formulas manufacturers, giving them the opportunity to develop customized formulas including GOS in a very pure form, even if they do not have any spray-drying facility,” he adds. Chappuis confirmed that we should see the first finished products on the infant formulas market in 2017.

Ideas 2 Launch launched a range of ready to drink tea beverages made from green tea and ancient wellness ingredients (jujube, ginseng etc.) in 2015. The company has managed to bridge the ancient Chinese traditional wellness with a modern “carrier” brand. All the major ingredients in their hot & iced range of drinks come from the same ancient wellness source i.e. the “Bencao gangmu,” a Chinese medical book of ancient health and wellness traditions. This enables them to craft authentic & connected messages about the drink’s virtues. It also gives access to a huge range of fruit & botanicals for blending into the drinks – some already familiar like mandarin and some that are excitingly new to us like the super fruit, “Jujube” [a Chinese red date (hong zao) known as the “King of vitamin C,” packing a powerful boost for the body especially in the production of collagen so better than what many “beauty drinks” offer and the subject of a traditional saying “3 jujubes a day keep the doctor away.” Sophia Nadur, Co-founder of Tg green teas says: “The first set of ready to drink brews were recently launched in the UK. They are already being sold through specialty food stores, workplace restaurants and cafes.” 

“We will begin work in 2017 to expand the range and enter elsewhere in Europe, the US, and China. We are targeting adult men and women with busy lifestyles and interested in switching into more natural, innately functional drinks – from energy drinks, colas and sugary unfamiliar ‘new age’ drinks.” Nadur notes that the early prototypes are ready to drink brews, but new formats are possible, including powders, gel, concentrate “pills” and further fortification that still fits within EFSA regulations.

by Robin Wyers


To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Flavor trends in 2019? Botanicals, ethnic, exotic and smokeless “smoke,” nuances hotly tipped for the new year, say suppliers

10 Dec 2018 --- Naturalness in flavors is expected to lead the way in 2019, although classic flavors are still anticipated to be in high demand across all categories. New combinations including botanical, ethnic and exotic flavors currently have the potential to meet consumers’ increasing demand for exciting new creations. These trends are tipped to become increasingly popular for the coming year. FoodIngredientsFirst spoke with key suppliers in the flavors space, who offered their insights into what we can expect to see trending in 2019.

Food Ingredients News

In Living Coral? Pantone tips pink-tinted hue for 2019 as Instagrammable food colors trend

07 Dec 2018 --- Pantone has named “Living Coral,” a pink-tinted hue as its color of the year for 2019, inspiring colors suppliers and packaging manufacturers to think about what the food & beverage implications may be. The shade, part orange, part pink, is a warm and welcoming one that adds life and playfulness, according to Jeffrey Beers, founder and CEO of his eponymous design firm. This year’s color was Ultra Violet, a deep purple hue. The news of the choice of coral has been met with interest from food colors suppliers, who shared their views with FoodIngredientsFirst.

Food Ingredients News

Weekly Roundup: Symrise strengthens biodiversity conservation and ethical sourcing commitment, Mondelez expands global capabilities in Poland

07 Dec 2018 --- This week, Symrise AG strengthened its commitment to biodiversity conservation and ethical sourcing as it passed the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT) membership assessment and the Almond Board of California invested US$6.8 million in independent research projects exploring next-generation farming practices. Meanwhile, Mondelēz made a further investment in its Global Technical Center in Wroclaw, Poland, just 1.5 years after the initial US$17 million investment, to expand R&D activities beyond chocolate and bakery innovation. Finally, new research revealed that consumers in the UK will splash out on their groceries this Christmas, spending an average of £166 (US$212) per person during the festive period.

Food Ingredients News

Kerry and Renaissance BioScience commercialize acrylamide-reducing yeast enzyme ingredient

06 Dec 2018 --- Taste & Nutrition company Kerry has signed a licensing agreement with Renaissance BioScience Corp to supply the latter’s Acryleast, a non-GMO acrylamide-reducing yeast enzyme, to food and beverage manufacturers, expected to commence in the first quarter of 2019.

Business News

Allulose advance: Ingredion forms Americas partnership with Matsutani

06 Dec 2018 --- Ingredion has entered into a relationship with Matsutani Chemical Industry Co., Ltd., Japan’s leading producer of specialty ingredients. The company will manufacture ASTRAEA Allulose in Mexico and market it across the Americas. The on-trend ingredient is 70 percent as sweet as sugar and helps manufacturers reduce sucrose in their recipes and develop reduced-calorie food and beverages to meet growing consumer demand.

More Articles