Givaudan, Bühler, Cargill, ITAL and the FoodTech Hub Latam to work together with new tropical food innovation lab

Science and business join forces in Brazil to accelerate innovation in food by focusing on the sustainable use of Latam’s biodiversity and affordable nutrition for consumers.

Givaudan, Bühler, and Cargill have formed a consortium in collaboration with the Food Tech Hub LATAM and Ital to build a food innovation centre in the city of Campinas, Brazil. The tropical food innovation lab will be located at the food technology institute, Ital, in a fully refurbished, 1,300m2 area.

This new hub will be will connect and develop sustainable, future food and beverage products in Latin America. Startups, companies, investors, universities and research institutions will have direct access to technology for prototyping and connecting into the global food tech ecosystem.

The current generation of wet and dry extrusion systems for plant-based proteins, as well as beverages processing units will add complementary capabilities to the existing facilities of ITAL. When complete, the facility will feature new application labs and a demo kitchen, where consumers, food scientists, nutritionists, chefs, mixologists, marketers, and other professionals, will work together to create sustainable new products.

In a world facing challenges from climate change, combined with a population expected to exceed 9.5 billion people by 2050, it is important for the food industry to take positive action and work towards a regenerative and equitable food system that provides healthy, safe and sustainable food for all.

Brazil has the richest plant biodiversity on the planet, distributed in 6 major biomes, and is one of the world’s main food producers. Yet immense potential remains, with regards to healthy and sustainable products, novel food and food waste reduction, which contribute to food systems transformation.  

“Ital, with its almost 60 years of history in Brazil, has become a market reference in carrying out research and development as well as providing technological and innovation support. Sharing our facilities will help to carry out joint R&D activities with the aim of establishing tools for the creation of an innovation food ecosystem as well transferring technology for the food production sector to stimulate socioeconomic development,” emphasised Gisele Camargo, director of research programmes and deputy director of Ital.

Eduard Fontcuberta, regional innovation head at Givaudan, said: “The Tropical Food Innovation Lab brings a diverse and complementary group of strategic partners working together investigating market shifts, cross-fertilising ideas and nourishing concepts to deliver superior sustainable solutions to food and beverage customers. At Givaudan, we continuously challenge ourselves to create delicious and nutritious food experiences. With an expanded portfolio of products across flavours, taste, sense, health and nutritional solutions and a deep knowledge of the food ecosystem, we are uniquely positioned to drive positive change within the food industry.”

“This great cooperation around innovation will accelerate not only the creation of new food products and categories but also new companies, which will flourish with the sustainable use of the Brazilian biodiversity,” said Paulo Silveira, founder of the FTH Latam.

“This new innovation lab is a great achievement for Bühler and we believe it will leverage significantly the food industry development in South America, especially in Brazil. As a leading process technology and solution provider, with more than 160 years of experience and a strong focus on innovation, we believe we can contribute with our know-how to create real impact. Only within a collaborative and innovative environment, it is possible to support our customers to be successful in a dynamic market, through the development of new products,” said Damien Chapelier, head of Bühler South America.

“Cargill is working to nourish the world. We’re bringing together people, ideas, and resources to deliver products, technology and ways of operating that build successful businesses and communities, with our customers in the centre of this approach. The Tropical Food Innovation Lab represents a great example of this commitment in Latam, where we will join our forces with distinguished partners in a very unique environment for co-creation and collaboration to accelerate sustainable innovations what matters to the regional agri-food value chain and beyond that, to support our customer strategy and demands,” said Carlos Prax, regional R&D leader at Cargill.

The Tropical Food Innovation Lab is planned to open in Q1 2023.