Ahead of their involvement at Future Food-Tech, we spoke to Erik Dam, Co-Founder and CEO at NutriLeads about the key factors driving their success and their upcoming launch of  ingredient BeniCaros. 

Can you tell us about your journey from an early-stage start-up to the success you have achieved today? What have been the key milestones?

Erik Dam, Co-Founder and CEO, NutriLeads

NutriLeads started in 2012 as a health ingredient innovator, focussing on the development of one immune supporting ingredient. A few years later, we expanded our development pipeline with new ingredients and wider health benefits, all  based on our proprietary plant-derived RG-I platform. Now, we are a commercial-stage B2B health ingredients company, harnessing health-giving power of plant-derived RG-I to strengthen human health through nutrition. 

The basis for our success is our drive to make a meaningful impact on human health, having a long term plan to build the body of evidence to support the health benefits, building the team to make it happen and acquiring the necessary funding.

Following a successful development journey, NutriLeads will now launch its lead ingredient BeniCaros, a 100% natural health ingredient, clinically proven to support immune function and to benefit the gut ecosystem. BeniCaros is a  proprietary fibre, upcycled from carrot pomace enriched in RG-I that will be available in the US for application in functional foods, beverages and food supplements later this year.

What role do partnerships and collaboration play in your business strategy? Have you met anyone or can you share any success story that has been a result of taking part in a past Future Food-Tech summit?

NutriLeads has a small team and selects the best companies for strategic partnerships and collaborations to support them with the development, manufacturing and commercialization of BeniCaros.

We have been attending the Future Food-Tech summits since 2017, initially only in London and later also in San Francisco. Future Food-Tech summits are global food-tech innovationhubs with amazing networking opportunities. We are currently discussing the application of BeniCaro with several food and beverage companies. Often the initial contacts have been made during these summits. The same is true for investors – I met ICOS Capital at the last face to face Future Food-Tech summit in London – and they became the lead investor of our Series B funding round in July 2020! 

What motivates you as an innovator to drive forward change within the food industry?

Helping people to strengthen their health really motivates me and at NutriLeads, we do this by developing natural ingredients with clinically proven health benefits. By combining innovation with strategic partnerships and investments, we are able to take on risky, costly and long- term developments that will make a positive impact on people’s health.

What advice would you give to aspiring food-tech innovators who, like you are focused on accelerating change and transforming the future of food?

Once you have a good idea that you believe in, follow your passion and find people and partners to make it happen.

What’s next for NutriLeads?

Our primary focus now is to build strategic partnerships with food & beverage and food supplement companies to incorporate BeniCaros, our immune health ingredient, in their products and hence make the health benefits of BeniCaros available to their consumers.

In addition to commercialising BeniCaros, we continue to strengthen the body of evidence for BeniCaros and develop other RG-I based ingredients. For example, our NL-02 ingredient aims to support gut health by helping to protect the gut barrier.