Foodtech startups are invited to submit solutions that improve the texture and functionality of plant-based cheese or natural ingredients for use in foods that support immunity, energy and sleep.
On the Innovation Challenges, Oliver Katz, conference producer at Future Food-Tech, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Danone North America and Givaudan to launch these Innovation Challenges to highlight and scale solutions to some of the most fundamental challenges facing food producers. The Innovation Challenges provide start-ups with the opportunity to collaborate with corporate leaders and access top-level support, expertise and facilities to scale their solutions. We can’t wait to hear from a diverse range of ambitious start-ups on how they plan to address these two major challenges.”
Danone North America challenge: Technologies to improve the texture and melting properties of plant-based cheese
Danone North America is growing its plant-based cheese category, and one of the main challenges is delivering the texture and melting properties associated with traditional dairy.
Its innovation and R&D team is looking for technologies that deliver more functionality to cheese alternatives, replicating its stretch and melting properties. Danone North America is interested in shredded or sliced cheeses such as mozzarella or cheddar, rather than artisan cheeses.
It is seeking technologies that are both ready to be applied in the short term, like plant-based extrusion, as well as microbial fermentation and cell-culturing that will likely be implemented in the medium to longer-term. Applicants should, at a minimum, have proof of principle and prototypes.
Takoua Debeche, chief research and innovation officer at Danone North America, shared: “Danone North America is a leader in plant-based food & beverage, including the growing cheese alternative category with our So Delicious Dairy Free and Follow Your Heart brands. Plant-based cheese alternatives is also one of the most technically challenging categories when it comes to dairy alternatives, especially when it comes to stretch and melt because casein is the only protein known to deliver those functionalities. I am very excited to partner with Future Food-Tech on new and innovative ways to solve this challenge collaboratively and to see the entrepreneurial ideas that come to the forefront.”
Givaudan challenge: Natural ingredients that support immunity, energy and sleep
For consumers around the world, health has taken centre stage with challenges that range from pandemics and stress to performance pressure at both work and at home.
Givaudan Taste & Wellbeing strives to support all aspects of healthfulness with its Health Essentials and Wellness Essentials, a selection of natural solutions that meet many of today’s most common health needs, including immune system support, mind, energy and wellbeing.
In this challenge, Givaudan is looking for science-driven start-ups who are working on natural, clean label ingredients for use in food that support consumers by boosting immunity, energy, and sleep.
It is most interested in companies who, at a minimum, have proof of principle and prototypes, and its preference is for companies that are clinically backed.
Fabio Campanile, global head of Science & Technology, Taste & Wellbeing at Givaudan, shared: “Creative thinking that leads to true innovation is reliant on collaboration and co-creation and we have found that this mentality works beautifully between Givaudan and start-up companies. Together, we’re able to get further faster, and often better. We’ve now partnered with Future Food-Tech for a number of years and know that this is the place to pose a challenge focused on the development of ingredients that help boost immunity, mind, energy and sleep.”
Webinar insights on 13 January
Join Takoua Debeche, chief research and innovation officer at Danone North America, Alexandre Bastos, head of Front End Innovation – Taste & Wellbeing and Emilie Fromentin, head of Explore Health & Nutrition – Taste & Wellbeing at Givaudan on Thursday, 13 January as they take part in a free live webinar, discussing the innovation challenges, their innovation priorities at the company, and answering questions from the live online audience ahead of the challenge submission deadline on Monday, 31 January.
The webinar is open to all.
Innovation Challenges timeline:
Applications Open: Thursday, 9 December
Innovation Challenges Webinar: Thursday, 13 January
Application Deadline: Monday, 31 January
Final pitches and the winner crowned at Future Food-Tech, San Francisco: 24-25 March 2022