23 Start-Ups Applying Groundbreaking Technology to Achieve the Ultimate Goal: Sustainable Nutrition

Growing consumer awareness of the source of their diet, its nutritional content and environmental impact, is driving food-tech innovators to create new solutions that optimise nutrition and can be produced sustainably at scale.

The Future Food-Tech summit on September 30 – October 1 will present 23 pioneering innovators from across the globe, showcasing fresh solutions across health and nutrition. These include: precision and microbial fermentation, food as medicine, functional ingredients, plant-based alternatives, personalised nutrition, AI and data science, supply chain transparency, biotechnology, sugar reduction and the microbiome

Discover them all in our Start-Up Showcase, Step Up to the Plate demonstration, the Kraft Heinz Innovation Challenge Finale and the Start-Up Exhibition.

Precision Fermentation

“Our mission at De Novo Dairy is to create fully functional dairy proteins using precision fermentation, to seamlessly replace dairy in the food industry. Ultimately, we want consumers to continue to enjoy the same sensory experiences from eating non-animal dairy products as they would from traditional dairy (from cows),” shares Leah Bessa, Co-Founder at De Novo Dairy (South Africa)Africa’s first food-tech company focusing on precision fermentation to produce functional, sustainable dairy proteins.

“At QOA, we tried to replicate the flavour as well as the smooth melting behaviour using fermentation processes like beer-brewing. QOA is 100% natural and made in a highly sustainable, circular way,” explains Maximilian Marquart, Founder & CEO at QOA (Germany) – producing the world’s first 100% cocoa-free chocolate through precision fermentation with special microorganisms.Microbial Fermentation

Blue Heron is a next-generation plant-based innovator and producer of 100% dairy-free, vegan artisan cheeses. We use true cheese-making methodologies by utilising a proprietary science-first approach with active bacterial cultures and enzymes specific to plant-based protein reactions,” shares Karen McAthy, CEO at Blue Heron (Canada) – prioritising microbial fermentation and aging methods in the creation of its cheeses.Food as Medicine

“At FYXX Health, we take proven active ingredients like probiotics, fibre, beta glucans, key minerals, vitamins, and herbs and turn them into low sugar, low carb snacks, cookies, sweets and beverage mixes making it fun and easy to snack healthily,” notes Sung Park, CEO at FYXX Health (USA) – combining the right supplements with the right diet, is the company’s formula for combating chronic disease and preventing illness.

Healthycell uses patent-pending MICROGEL™ technology to deliver nutrients that consumers can absorb and results they can measure in a pill-free experience they love. Our dietary supplement products are taken straight from the gel pack, mixed into drinks, or blended into smoothies,” explains Douglas Giampapa, Founder and CEO at Healthycell (USA) – helping people reach their potential through optimised health with a new platform for dietary micronutrient delivery.

Healright’s Health From WithinTM provides micronutrients and fibres that deliver life-changing results. Scientifically developed and clinically tested, Healright evidence-based daily micronutrition products are for optimal gut performance to support and maintain good health,” details Rebecca McKinnon, Clinical Specialist at Healright (USA) – an Advanced Micronutrition Food as Medicine brand.Plant-Based Alternatives

“Foregoing industry standards such as extrusion, Sundial Foods is creating complex plant-based whole cuts with skin, meat, and bone that look, cook, and taste delicious. Our chicken wings, launching soon in California, are made from eight clean-label ingredients, one of which is water,” says, Jessica Schwabach, CEO at Sundial Foods (USA) – leveraging technology to develop solutions that are more sustainable while remaining nutritionally competitive.

“At Yo-Egg, we strongly believe people really do want a humane alternative to the traditional egg. You see it in the growing demand for organic or cage free eggs. The change is driven by the consumers, at Yo-Egg we are simply making it easier for them to switch. Our sunny side up and poached eggs are only the beginning. There are a lot of surprises coming up,” shares Eran Groner, Co-Founder and CEO at Yo-Egg (Israel)- producing Yo! Sunny Side Up and Yo! Poached eggs for the foodservice and retail.

“AuraPea is launching new, patented products for food service, CPG, and e-commerce channels that are free of soy, meat, methylcellulose, lactose, gluten, and allergens,” explains Benjamin Pasternak, President and CEO at AuraPea (USA) – combining excellent taste and texture with a clean label, the products use sous vide cooking methods to provide superior plant-based protein alternatives.AI Technology and Data Science

“CPG R&D teams don’t have time to aggregate the volumes of data that are scattered across their enterprise on forgotten hard-drives and spreadsheets. We built Turing Labs to require 50% less data than traditional algorithms to empower product development teams to achieve record-breaking discoveries with minimal effort,” outlines Ajith Govind, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, at Turing Labs (USA) – disrupting the traditional CPG development process through its modelling and simulation platform that uses modern AI techniques to improve product development speed by 10x while using far less data than previously required.

Alberts makes healthy food accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time. The Alberts Smoothie Station combines robotics and AI, to prepare personalised, 100%  natural blends (like smoothies and soups) on the spot,” reveals Glenn Mathijssen, CEO and Co-Founder at Alberts (Belgium) – making a healthy life the easiest option.

“By enabling the conversation between microbiome data and the scientist, Eagle Genomics is unlocking a new era of collaborative, data-driven innovation. It allows companies to seize the opportunities of the Bio Revolution and tackle the Grand Challenges facing the world today,” shares Anthony Finbow, CEO at Eagle Genomics (UK)supporting the entire innovation workflow, from hypothesis through insight to microbiome-based product claims to help bring novel, safer and sustainable food products to market, faster.Functional Ingredients

Cuzena was first to market in introducing Ful Madamous to retail in a ready-made format. A staple dish of the Middle East made from fava beans rich in plant protein. My love for Arabic flavours prompted me to explore innovative cuisine, uncomplicated food straight to the table. Blending familiar with the bold in introducing a full Middle Eastern dining experience. To excite, educate and nourish,“ explains Shadia Al Hili, CEO at Cuzena (UK) – providing an environmentally friendly, sustainable alternative to soya.

Full wrap has created an innovative gluten-free tortilla made of sprouted legumes that is also flexible, easy to use and full of whole protein. We do not use any preservatives or food colouring and our products are also vegan,” shares Rachely Bitterman, Head of Innovation at Full wrap (Israel) – developing products including legumes tortillas made of orange lentils, chickpeas, green buckwheat and green peas.

JaziLupini is a clean-label company on a mission to bring about change in the way people consume their proteins by introducing the severely under-utilized sustainable crop, lupin, to the market in innovative ways,” notes Jazz Sanchez, Founder at JaziLupini – offering a healthy, tasty pasta alternative.

Kaffe Bueno uses green chemistry and biotechnology to upcycle coffee’s post-consumption by-product into active and functional ingredients for nutraceuticals, and functional foods and cosmetics,” explains Juan Medina, Co-Founder and CEO at Kaffee Bueno (Denmark) – Using pure science to demonstrate the health-promoting power in coffee.Sugar Reduction

“At GlucoZero our mission is to provide technology to produce a new category of appealing foods with real health benefits that will help fight the global overweight epidemic and allow everybody, including individuals with impaired glucose metabolism and diabetes, to consume fruit drinks with the typical juice and smoothie taste,” shares Jürgen Schrezenmeir, Co-Founder at GlucoZero (Germany). The start-up company has the exclusive exploitation rights of a patent on production of juice and fruit preparations with low glycaemic response and preserved juice taste.Personalised Nutrition

Happ believes that the ‘future of food is personal’. It is building a Personalised Food Navigator – an ecosystem of partners, consumers to offer food as a service – at the comfort of your home, work, restaurant , fitness club, sports canteen and much more,” explains Divya Gautam, CEO at Happ (The Netherlands) – an innovative food-tech start-up focusing on the personalised nutrition market with ambition to scale pan-EU by 2022.The Microbiome

The Gut Stuff was created by my twin sister Alana and I (The Mac Twins). Twins are a great constant for medical research, and we became the “chief guinea pigs” for the Twin Research department at Kings College, where they discovered that despite having 100% the same DNA our guts have only 30/40% the same microbiota. We’ve made it our mission to bring the exciting information they were learning, to the masses,” details Lisa Macfarlane, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at The Gut Stuff (UK) – bringing efficacious, delicious and affordable snack bars and fermentation kits to the masses.

Evivo by Evolve pioneers research in the infant gut microbiome and our products uniquely colonise the infant gut, creating lifelong health for all infants worldwide. Our technology restores the functional losses in new-born gut deficiency (NGD), the inability to metabolise human milk oligosaccharide, the third most abundant component of breastmilk,” shares Tracy Shafizadeh, Director of Scientific Communications at Evivo by Evolve (USA) – a commercial-stage microbiome company, launched from the Food for Health Institute at UC Davis.Biotechnology

“In the near future, distributed diagnostics capability will be key to assessing the risks to health on a large scale in real time. The Hyris system enables the deployment of advanced genetic testing right when and where needed such as directly at the production plant or farm. This innovation breaks the current logistics and value chains, putting the user back at the centre of the analytical process,” explains Stefano Lo Priore, Founder and CEO at Hyris (UK) – easing the access to molecular testing solutions to a much larger cohort of users.

“EnginZyme (Sweden) provides a whole biomanufacturing platform consisting of enzyme engineering, biocatalyst design and process development to enable the competitive and sustainable production of a wide range of chemicals and food materials. For instance, EnginZyme is developing an enzymatic based process to produce a rare sugar, a natural low-calorie sweetener with prebiotic properties. This summer we piloted the production of several kilograms, which enables the first sampling and testing activities with food companies at a relevant scale. We are currently seeking partners for the development of new biocatalytic processes to bring existing and novel products to market,” shares Jordi Lopez, Business Development Director at EnginZyme (Sweden) – unlocking the potential of enzymes for better food and chemicals with its new technology platform.Food Transparency

Connecting Food’s platform is powered by blockchain, a technology which enabled us to build LiveAudit®, a fully digitalised auditing module. LiveAudit® provides real-time traceability of products and audits their quality, ensuring that every promise made to the consumer is kept,” explains Samantha Gadenne, Global Sales Director at Connecting Food (France) – offering digital transparency solutions which create value for agri-food players and restore consumer confidence in food.Many more game-changing early and mid-stage companies will join the Future Food-Tech summit on Sept 30 – Oct 1, which will bring together food brands, retailers, ingredient manufacturers, technology providers and investors for two days of high impact online networking and knowledge-exchange. Also for an evening of live sessions and networking in London on September 30.