“The future of food”: Plant-based, personalized nutrition and sustainability inspire start-up innovations
25 Sep 2019 --- Fifteen innovative start-ups with fresh ideas on foodtech, agri-tech and sustainable packaging are to present at the 2019 Foodbytes! by Rabobank. The global pitch competition and networking platform connects startups with corporate leaders and investors. From farm waste-based fertilizers to 3D printing for personalized nutrition to labeling solutions for fruit shelf-life extension, NutritionInsight takes a closer look at some of the most interesting start-ups participating. Plant-based nutrition, future farming technology and circular supply chain solutions were amongst the dominant themes identified.
The winners will have the opportunity to pitch and network at Rabobank’s European Advisory Board Meeting in France in April 2020, as well as receive eight hours of tailor-made mentor sessions with Rabobank specialists. In addition, they will benefit from business consultation services from FoodBytes! sponsors, including branding and legal consultation and go-to-market advice.
“FoodBytes! builds lasting connections for food and agriculture startups who may promote a sustainable food and agriculture ecosystem, which will feed the increasing global population – expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. Since we launched in 2015, there has been no let-up in the quality of the applicants seeking to make a profound impact and change on the food ecosystem,” says Nick Fereday, Executive Director – Food & Consumer Trends at Rabobank and FoodBytes! London judge.
The start-ups – selected based on a specific criteria – will each have three minutes to pitch live on the FoodBytes! London stage.
In the foodtech category, NOURISH3D has developed a patented 3D printing technology which allows them to combine seven different active ingredients into personalized nutrition stacks, based on consumers’ lifestyle and goals.
“We are able to layer multiple vitamins and supplements into one delicious and convenient gummy stack with less cost, hassle and waste than purchasing all of the active ingredients separately,” Melissa Snover, CEO and founder of NOURISH3D, tells NutritionInsight.
“Our innovative 3D printing technology means our stacks have a high impact absorption as they are made on-demand and digested as a macro rather than a pill,” she adds. The company has just completed its seed round and will be launching NOURISH3D exclusively into the UK in October 2019, with the aim to expand into the US market in 2020.
Redefine Meat produces animal-free meat with the same appearance, texture and flavor of animal meat, from natural and sustainable ingredients. The company recently announced the completion of a US$6 million seed round. The investment was led by CPT Capital and also includes Israel-based Hanaco Ventures, Germany’s largest poultry company The PHW Group and Israeli angel investors. Redefine Meat will use the investment to finalize the development of its revolutionary alternative meat 3D printer, which will be released next year. The company is targeting a rollout into mass production in 2021.
Fresh Check offers a simpler, faster and low-cost method of performing crucial hygiene testing with color change spray to warn users about bacterial, chemical or organic contamination. “Ensuring hygienic conditions is critical for all aspects of the food industry, with bad hygiene damaging public health and company reputation. However, there is only one viable method for on-the-spot confirmation of hygiene in food facilities,” Alex Bond, Co-Founder and CEO of Fresh Check, tells NutritionInsight. Fresh Check’s color-change spray is pegged as a new tool for the food industry to ensure hygiene that is more affordable, simpler and faster than existing methods.
“Our next step is fundraising. We want to start rolling the Fresh Check spray out to a wider customer-base but need to expand the team to meet demand. Our color-change technology is fantastic for the food industry, but there is a range of other products we’re excited to continue developing, so more innovation is our goals,” Bond adds.
Zero Waste Biotech has developed the Aero-D machine which converts food waste into clean renewable energy, enabling a circular economy. “As an onsite waste to energy conversion technology, we can completely remove the need and cost for waste contractors who come and collect it in their polluting diesel-powered vehicles. We are offering clean renewable energy from food waste with the added benefit of removing CO2e from our atmosphere,” Stephen Beck, CEO & Co-Founder of Zero Waste Biotech, tells NutritionInsight.
StixFresh has created peelable stickers for fruit which help to keep them fresh. This presents an all-natural solution to safely extend the shelf life of fruit by up to 14 days. “StixFresh is currently the only sticker-based solution that has shown promise to extend the shelf-life of fruits. Almost every fresh fruit sold is labeled with a sticker at some point throughout its lifetime. Our model is to simply take their current stickers and apply our formulation to the non-adhesive side,” Moody Soliman, CEO & Co-Founder of Stix Fresh, tells NutritionInsight.
“Distributors and producers may continue to print their branding of choice on the stickers. By seamlessly adding our technology to a product that already exists within the current supply-chain, StixFresh’s product promises to be simple and economical to adopt,” he adds.
Agri-tech Start-ups to look out for
Computomics unlocks the diversity of biological life to enable data-driven decisions that can accelerate sustainable agricultural development, with a focus on biotech, breeding and indoor farming. “We help growers and breeders find the right plants for their environments with our machine learning algorithms. In over 130 projects, we enabled our customers to make data-driven decisions and thereby accelerate sustainable agricultural development that can feed the world, Dr. Sebastian Schultheiß,” CEO of Computomics tells NutritionInsight.
LLeaf has developed technology that is best described by the company name, an acronym for Luminescent Light Emitting Agriculture Films. LLeaf technology will help the world to increase food yield by improving the light that reaches plants.
Trellis allows the key players – growers, manufacturers, and retailers – to acquire insights from supply chain AI to accurately predict crop production and yield; supply chain fluctuations; and market trends, resulting in lower costs, improved quality and reduced waste.
Sustainable Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)
Borrago is a non-alcoholic botanical spirit with “all the flavors and theatre of a cocktail” but without the alcohol. The company’s namesake “borage” is also known as the bee flower and they have given away over 100,000 borage seeds to date, as part of their commitment to help save the bees. The launch comes as the non-alcoholic drinks trend is on the rise, with consumers seeking flavorful alternatives. Recently London welcomed its first alcohol-free pub.
Element Packaging creates innovative packaging solutions made from bamboo paper, plant starch and other sustainable polymers for the Food2Go, Retail, Travel and Fashion sectors, which are fully compostable or biodegradable
FoodBytes! London will take place on 6-7 November 2019 at Victoria House. With sustainable food systems in mind, the new generation of aspiring entrepreneurs is spearheading innovation in the agri-tech, foodtech and packaging industries.
By Kristiana Lalou
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