23 Dec 2022 — The Russian invasion of Ukraine dominated headlines this year, immediately impacting food supply chains and escalating problems with wheat, oil and other commodity supplies throughout 2022. As war raged on, the number of food businesses pulling out of Russia grew while concerns over food availability and the dampening of breadbasket production also spiked.
Food inflation was – and continues to be – everywhere. However, innovation hasn’t declined this year, with NPD flourishing across many F&B categories. Moves in cultured meat gathered pace with commercialization edging ever closer. Also, the plant-based space still showed growth in many quarters – although there are roadblocks on taste and texture to overcome – while personal and environmental health continued its stronghold over product development and consumer purchasing decisions. Meanwhile, a new trend emerged, as Innova Market Insights spotlighted “Redefining Value” as its Top Ten Trend for 2023.
US meat industry consolidation crackdown: US$1BN to expand independent plants
A significant crackdown on US meat giants got underway as the US government admitted the country’s current system – whereby a handful of producers dominate the industry, raise prices, squeeze out farmers and control opportunities – needed to change. As meat producers came under heavy scrutiny, the US government began a push for stricter “Made in America” labeling rules. The White House highlighted excessive market concentration in the US meat industry as contributing to the country’s food supply chain vulnerabilities.
ITC enters India’s plant-based sector to “take a nascent phenomenon to the next level”
Following significant progress in the Indian plant-based meats landscape in the second half of 2021, the first major Indian FMCG company announced a foray into the burgeoning space with meat alternative offerings, including plant-based burger patties and nuggets. The move signaled ITC’s intention to become an early mover in the growing plant-based sector domestically. At the time, there was no sizable pan-Indian brand in the country’s plant-based protein segment, which is brimming with potential.
Blue California debuts clean label food whitening agents as TiO2 is phased out
Following the European Food Safety Authority ban on food additive titanium dioxide (TiO2), ingredient producer Blue California launched clean label whitening agents as an alternative to the white colorant. “Brands that seek to replace the titanium dioxide white colorant will find many benefits to Blue California’s patent-pending, food-grade whitening agents,” said Dr. Cuie Yan, vice president of encapsulation at Blue California.
Mosa Meat eliminates fetal bovine serum from the cultivated meat equation
Pioneering cell-based player Mosa Meat published a peer-reviewed paper revealing how it achieves muscle differentiation in cultured meat without using fetal bovine serum and without genetically modifying the cells. FBS has conventionally been used in cultured meat production as a supplement for cell feed – also known as cell culture media – due to its richness in nutrients and growth factors. In 2019, Mosa Meat successfully removed fetal bovine serum and other animal components from its entire process. However, this solution has been flagged as unsustainable, unethical and not scalable, due to its process of being harvested from the blood of fetuses taken from pregnant cows slaughtered in meat or dairy supply chains.
Bosque Foods unveils first mycelium-based pork and chicken options
Mycelium pioneer Bosque Foods (formerly Kinoko Labs) unveiled its whole-cut mushroom-based meat alternatives for the first time in Europe during a private tasting at the ProVeg Incubator in Berlin, which FoodIngredientsFirst attended. The sampled products included alt-pork filets in Vietnamese bao buns and alt-chicken filets. The purpose of the tasting event was to showcase Bosque Food’s early prototyping with mycelium as an ingredient and demonstrate the start-up’s progress in developing related end products.
Wildtype cell-grown salmon lands US$100M in DiCaprio and Bezos backed round
Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney gave a little help to alt-chicken as part of a US$100 million series A round of funding in Next Gen Foods producer of TiNDLE, a plant-based chicken alternative. Meanwhile, Wildtype, the San Francisco start-up that makes salmon from cultivated fish cells, received a cash injection of US$100 million from a star-studded lineup of investors, including Leonard DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr. FootPrint Coalition.
Expansion of products containing newly authorized crickets and yellow mealworms predicted
House crickets (Acheta domesticus) and yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) were approved as high-protein food ingredients across a broad range of European F&B platforms, including multigrain bread rolls, dried pasta products, “beer-like” alcoholic beverages and chocolate confectionery. Deemed safe for human consumption – through a three-year process that began in December 2018 – the two insect species were granted Novel Food authorizations in the EU. This advancement is considered timely as the global demand for diversified alternative protein sources continues to balloon.
Ukraine metacrisis: Grain trade analysts fear “extraordinary” disruptions by possible war and sanctions
As Western leaders began fearing an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine, agricultural analysts warned of the severe impact that war and economic sanctions could have on the global food market. Grain production and export, in particular, was underscored as being under serious threat, with much of the world relying on crops grown and exported in and from areas bordering the Black Sea – a region contested by the Kremlin, with much of it (like the Crimean Peninsula) already annexed by Russian troops in 2014. This was the start of months-long coverage from FoodIngredientsFirst.
Agri-food sector braces for export deficiencies from Russia and Ukraine
The destabilization of Ukraine by the Russian invasion quickly triggered significant global consequences for the food industry. Among them this month were supply chain disruptions. For instance, agri-food commodities giant Bayer suspended all its advertising and promotional activities in Russia, in addition to halting capital investment projects in this country indefinitely. Meanwhile, the UN warned that wheat shortages would threaten mass starvation and further conflict in the MENA region, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition warned that devastated supply chains in Ukraine and Russia were cutting off wheat, corn, sunflower oil and barley exports while rising food prices meant that millions would not be able to afford nutrient-rich foods. Concerns were also beginning to be raised about inflationary pressures on malting barley having a knock-on impact on beer brewers. The British egg industry was also in crisis as production costs soared amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Natural Products Expo West 2022: New organic natural ingredients, plant-based flavors and functional beverages
The Natural Products Expo West spotlighted new organic and clean label food innovations, looking at the trends shaping the future of the nearly US$300 billion industry. Notable highlights at the show included new plant-based flavoring technologies, natural preservation ingredients, low-sugar and salt solutions and functional beverages for gut microbiome health. FoodIngredientsFirst caught up with representatives from key industry suppliers on the show floor.
Food supply disruptions mount: Sunflower oil supplies poised to run out
As the conflict entered its second month, knock-on global food supply chain disruptions continued to rage. The EU Parliament stressed the need for diversified trading partners to avoid over-dependence on any one country. It called for a “reboot” of the EU’s food production strategy to make it more independent from these imports. Meanwhile, the UK’s food standards agency warned consumers that products labeled as containing sunflower oil might instead contain refined rapeseed oil due to the shortages of this commodity.
Kerry’s “culinary journey”: Targeting authentic taste, preservation, proactive health and plant-based
After a year in the job, Thomas Hahlin Ahlinder, Kerry’s president and CEO for Europe, gave an in-depth interview with FoodIngredientsFirst, where he examined Kerry’s strategic priorities, including plant protein, preservation, reducing waste, sustainability and taste. He also discussed how Kerry is poised for plant-based growth, food preservation and waste reduction.
Dutch government invests record €60M to boost cellular meat and agriculture
The Dutch government earmarked €60 million (US$65 million) through its National Growth Fund to build up the cellular meat and agriculture ecosystem. The funding would be used mainly to invest in education and innovation in this emerging industry. The funding supported the formation of an ecosystem around cellular agriculture, the technology to produce animal products like milk and meat directly from cells. It represented the largest public funding globally in the cellular agriculture field.
Sky-high food prices and snowballing inflation stunts global growth
Steep price hikes in food and fuel due to inflation, conflict, the pandemic and climate change were expected to slow global growth to around 3.6% this year, the International Monetary Fund forecasted. Newer forecasts dropped the number to 3.2%.
Matrix F.T. scales wet lab for plant-based nanofiber scaffolds used in cell-based meat cultivation
Cell-based solutions provider Matrix F.T. scaled a new wet lab for designing custom scaffolding systems for cultured meat producers. The US-based food-tech company assists in growing cultivated protein with edible, plant-based nanofiber scaffolds and microcarriers. Complementing Matrix F.T.’s engineering lab, the facility is touted to further strengthen the company’s R&D offering and accelerate the exploration and execution of various custom scaffold projects currently underway. The new facility is deemed “instrumental” in shortening the gap between engineering custom plant-based, nanofiber scaffolds and delivering a final product to help cultivated meat companies bring their products to market. The company utilizes a manufacturing process called electrode spinning, which was developed using more than 15 years of research by co-founder Dr. Jed Johnson.
Anuga FoodTec: NextFerm unveils “world first” digestible plant protein supplements
Israel-based protein specialist NextFerm launched its long-awaited range of vegan alternative protein products at Anuga FoodTec in Cologne, Germany. The company claimed to have created formulations that avoid common digestion problems associated with plant-based protein supplements and expected to shift away from animal products that do not require consumer sacrifice on taste. Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst from the trade show floor, Elzaphan Hotam, CEO of NextFerm Technologies USA, explained how the company targeted the growing demand for ethically sourced dietary supplements.
“Every country will suffer”: Indonesia’s ban on palm oil exports expected to cripple food system
Indonesia imposed a sudden export ban on palm oil, which led to industry watchers anticipating a surge in the cost of edible oils, including sunflower oil, soybean oil and rapeseed oil. Even before this, the global stocks of key edible oils were already tightly squeezed due to inflationary price swings, unfavorable weather conditions and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. During this time, Indonesia’s decision to suspend palm oil exports was enforced to ease the nation’s domestic cooking oil prices. The ban lasted less than a month, as Indonesia reopened its ports to palm oil exports some weeks later.
US meatpacking industry hyped food shortage warnings to keep plants open during COVID-19
A US congressional investigation accused meatpacking companies and the USDA, under the Trump Administration, of collaborating in an “aggressive campaign” to force factory workers to remain in dangerous plants with a high risk of coronavirus transmission during the early days of the pandemic. The Select Sub Committee report revealed its findings, highlighting how “staying on the job” was the narrative put forward by meatpacking companies and government officials. The investigation condemned meatpackers’ handling of the coronavirus outbreak and detailed the influence some sections of the industry had over government officials. Accusations included how “baseless” food shortage warnings influenced the government to keep meat plants open early in the pandemic. There was also heavy lobbying to the Trump administration despite knowing the health risks involved.
UN warns: “No food crisis solution without reintegrating Ukraine and Russia”
Food produced from Ukraine and Russia needed to be reintegrated into world markets despite the war to avoid a food crisis, warned UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. His comments came as the UN was in a flurry of activity to find a solution that would allow the safe export of Ukrainian grain through its ports, under blockade by Russia. “Alternative transportation routes can be explored – even if we know that by itself, they will not be enough to solve the problem,” stressed Guterres. He underscored that “Russian food and fertilizers must have unrestricted access to world markets without indirect impediments.”
Food vs. fuel: Reducing biofuel to boost food production could mitigate hunger crisis
Too much food is used for biofuel production at a time when the Ukrainian war and bad harvests due to climate change are leading to a hunger catastrophe. World Resource Institute (WRI) calculations indicated that cutting down grain used for ethanol production in the US and Europe by 50% “would compensate for all the lost exports of Ukrainian wheat, corn, barley and rye.” “In the short term, we need these grains to alleviate food shortages,” said the WRI. Data from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development suggested that the arable land used to produce biofuels could provide 32% of sugar, 12% of corn and 15% of the vegetable oils consumed globally.
Cargill installs entire chocolate development cycle under one roof in Belgium
Cargill strengthened its position in rapid chocolate development and consumer-centric gourmet offerings with the grand opening of the House of Chocolate. The new end-to-end center is located in Mouscron, Belgium, alongside its existing chocolate production plant and a stone’s throw away from its cake and chocolates decorations business. The facility was positioned as the first of its kind in Europe and, perhaps, the world. FoodIngredientsFirst attended the exclusive opening on-site, where consumer insights, master classes, R&D, sensory testing and pilot production are now centered under one roof. Cargill’s expertise in sugar, sweeteners and edible oils will also merge to help slash product development time.
New Zealand plans cows and sheep burps tax to slash carbon emissions up to 5.5% by 2030
The Ministry for the Environment of New Zealand unveiled a plan for the country to become the first in the world to tax farmers for their livestock methane emissions. “Our recommended approach would enhance New Zealand’s reputation as a world leader in low-emission food production and keep us ahead of our competitors,” said He Waka Eke Noa, a climate action partnership that works with farmers and growers in the country. New Zealand has more sheep than people, with 26.8 million sheep compared to the five million people living on the island – with 3.9 million cows also roaming the lands, according to 2019 government numbers. The taxing of methane emissions might help reduce these particularly intense gas emissions.
Fighting food nationalism: India resumes some wheat exports, chicken relief in Singapore
International food markets experienced some relief as world leaders juggled the need to maintain bountiful domestic reserves and their desire to benefit from profitable exports at a time when foreign currency – particularly the US dollar – was in high demand – all while trying to keep inflation at manageable levels. Singapore benefited from Malaysia allowing some chicken varieties exports after weeks of halting its chicken exports to safeguard Malaysia’s domestic supply. India was trying to negotiate individual deals with countries to secure their wheat needs. At the same time, the World Trade Organization reached a last-second deal to prevent governments from embracing food protectionism.
Ben & Jerry’s opposes Unilever deal to continue selling iconic ice cream in Israel
Ben & Jerry’s publicly denounced parent company Unilever’s decision to continue distributing its ice cream product across Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. In June, Unilever reached a licensing agreement with Avi Zinger, which will sustain the sales of the frozen dessert range under its Hebrew and Arabic names throughout Israel and the West Bank. The move cools off a year-long spat with the Israeli authorities that began shortly after the FMCG giant announced its decision to stop selling its classic brand in the Occupied Palestinian Territory – decried by prime minister Naftali Bennet as an “anti-Israel” sentiment. The decision to pull Ben & Jerry’s from Israel was a significant play by Unilever – and ultimately, a statement of its political stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict – as in the past year its overall global sales were bolstered largely by the high-performing ice cream category.
EFSA deems lesser mealworms safe for human consumption, 2023 commercialization on the horizon
Ÿnsect, a key player in the production of protein and natural insect fertilizers, prepared to boost the production of its lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus) after the European Food Safety Authority concluded it was safe to eat. After this opinion, the European Commission prepared a draft to regulate the product’s commercialization in the EU, with final authorization expected by early 2023. The positive opinion came after an application by France-based Ÿnsect from 2018 that resulted in frozen and freeze-dried formulations of the lesser mealworm or buffalo worm to be deemed safe for human consumption.
Versatile plant protein solutions sizzle in food formulations
During the IFT FIRST Annual Event and Expo, significant attention was paid to a rising star in the plant-based category – pulses, such as fava bean and chickpea – which offer distinct health benefits while packing a protein punch. FoodIngredientsFirst reported live from the event’s show floor, hosted in Chicago, US, speaking to key exhibitors, including Beneo, food-tech Israeli start-up ChickP and A&B Ingredients. A&B Ingredients exhibited its clean-tasting textured fava bean proteins, branded Texta Feve. The line is well-suited for use in meat analogs and plant-based foods, creating a familiar meat-like texture and bite.
Trade woes: European meat and dairy on the chopping board, India’s “distorting” sugar subsidies
The EU and New Zealand brokered a free trade anticipated to expand the capacity and ease for both parties to export their food products. However, in a year ridden with sky-high prices for fertilizers, oil and gas, EU farmers feared the increased market pressure the trade deal would bring. The new agreement would see 91% of New Zealand’s current exports to the EU to arrive free of tariffs. Consumers in the EU saw cheaper products in the aisles thanks to immediate tariff elimination for kiwis, wine, onions, apples, mānuka honey, as well as most fish, seafood and horticulture products.
Designer dairy: Formulating with upcycled bovine colostrum, human milk mimicry and cell-based yogurt
Ripples of innovation across the lactosphere were generated by new food technology advancements, including a superfood sourced from discarded bovine colostrum from the milk industry. In Israel, researchers managed to synthesize cultivated dairy cow milk fat in the lead-up to the world’s first cell-based yogurt. Meanwhile, Chinese authorities moved to greenlight a unique nutritional compound in human milk, opening up new pathways to formulate infant formula. FoodIngredientsFirst dug into the workings of the Dairy 2.0 revolution, speaking with the creators behind these futuristic iterations of conventional milk-based ingredients.
UK government hit with legal challenges for neglecting critical cuts to meat and dairy
England’s policymakers came under fire from environmental activists launching a legal challenge against the government’s food strategy, which they argued fell short of plans to cut meat and dairy consumption. In particular, lawyers at Leigh Day, representing the campaign group Feedback, asserted that this was a critical breach of UK laws, such as the Climate Change Act. Feedback argued that the Government Food Strategy, published in June, “ignored the clear advice” on meat and dairy reduction coming from its own Climate Change Committee and guidance from its adviser Henry Dimbleby.
ProVeg pushes for farmers to transition from livestock to alternative proteins
Convincing farmers to ditch livestock and shift to growing alternative protein crops is doable but can’t happen immediately – it needs careful management and massive funding to help farmers feel secure enough to take the plunge. This was the assertion from a ProVeg report examining how this major transition can happen in reality and be financially viable on a large scale globally. The bold move away from livestock for a generational farmer would be a daunting task, it stated at the time. Such a transition comes with risks and complications, factors recognized by ProVeg in its report. However, a shift to alternative-protein production presents a significant opportunity for farmers when climate change threatens farming livelihoods.
“Worst drought in 500 years” dries out food trade as heatwave drains Europe’s rivers
Across continental Europe, a sweltering summer heatwave led to the drying up of crucial waterways, hampering critical trade. One of the most significant passages for agri-food shipments such as grain, the Rhine river, became impassable for barge traffic. In Italy, the country’s “king of rivers,” the Po, was reportedly two meters lower than usual, triggering warnings of crop productivity slowing down. Meanwhile, Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria dredged deeper channels into the Danube, which snakes its way 1,800 miles through central Europe toward the Black Sea. In Bavaria, the Danube reached 25°C in August, meaning its oxygen content could have potentially dropped below six parts per million, which is fatal for trout.
Food prices rapidly deflated while trade with Ukraine through Black Sea was reignited
Inflated food costs waned across the board, driven by the downfall of vegetable oil prices and a considerable drop in cereal costs. Trade flow accelerated in the Ukraine-Russia food corridor in the Black Sea as the first empty cargo ship docked at the war-torn region’s Port of Chornomorsk – which was set to be loaded to the brim with Ukrainian produce. Meanwhile, concerns around the global food crisis escalated in August, with predictions that inflation will continue to creep up and, by 2023, that the crisis would become about affordability, not availability.
Kerry unveils Food Waste Estimator as it emerges that food supply chains are highly susceptible to fraud
With rising prices, disturbances in delivery chains and climate change, the world is facing a food crisis. In light of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, marked by the FAO’s UN, FoodIngredientsFirst spoke with Kerry following its launch of the Food Waste Estimator to raise awareness and tackle global food security.
Industry warns of inflation rampage in 2023 as energy prices bite
Record high energy prices predicted a shadow of a cold winter and a somber 2023, where inflation was expected to persist and potentially increase in less energy-secure countries like Germany. Meanwhile, severe disruptions in global rice suppliers combined with soaring demand for grains were poised to break the fragile balance between supply and demand, leading to price increases and, once again, supercharging global food inflation.
Practices in meat and poultry come under fire
The US Department of Agriculture spearheaded initiatives to support fair and competitive meat and poultry markets as part of the department’s role in the President’s Competition Council. These efforts included a US$15 million Agricultural Competition Challenge to ramp up collaboration with the State Attorneys General on enforcement of competition laws, such as those against price-fixing.
Renewable energy fuels global food crisis, “out of control” prices and CO2 shortages
The European Parliament came under increasing fire for failing to phase out the use of biofuels that are claimed by some NGOs to “be fueling the global food crisis.” Branded a failure to prioritize food over fuel, EU lawmakers decided not to change the Renewable Energy Directive, which would have halted the use of crops in biofuels – something which was called for when the global food crisis began to bite.
Innova Market Insights crowns “Redefining Value” as its Top Trend for 2023 as global cost-of-living crisis bites
Innova Market Insights identified “Redefining Value” as its top F&B trend for 2023, as consumers adapted to a global cost-of-living crisis in the face of ongoing economic and political volatility. With budgets stretched and supplies under strain, brands must be flexible and open to connecting more with consumers while taking full advantage of rapidly emerging technologies.
Europe is “pivotal” in shifting the global market to sustainable palm oil
Europe has been a frontrunner in sustainable palm oil for the past two decades, with the EU market reaching high levels. However, total palm oil imports are decreasing. The bloc notably accounts for 45% of the total global use of certified sustainable palm oil, indicating this drop could leave a substantial mark on the industry’s overall transition to transparency.
Going green: Industry makes “major strides” in hitting sustainability targets
As sustainability became increasingly embedded into F&B operations, manufacturers and brands moved toward carbon-zero targets, reducing greenhouse gasses and implementing best practices into businesses. It is integral to keep pace with the growing global demand from consumers for food and beverage products and solutions that are good for health and the planet. Although green targets may have taken a back seat during difficult times of conflict, supply chain challenges and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, food companies insisted they are as committed to improving sustainability regardless.
World’s first industrial octopus farm sparks outrage among environmentalists
Spanish seafood multinational Nueva Pescanova invested US$63 million to build the world’s first industrial-scale octopus farm in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, amid rising octopus consumption demand across the Mediterranean, Asia, Mexico and the US. Environmental groups and scientists met the plans with fierce resistance, with protests taking place outside Spanish embassies in more than 20 locations worldwide. Opponents demanded that the Spanish government reverse its decision to authorize the project and recognize octopuses as sentient creatures. They argued that mass-producing octopuses would further deplete wild fish populations, contravening the EU Strategic Aquaculture Guidelines while paving the way for additional energy-intensive farming practices.
Turkey troubles: Avian flu epidemic, Higher prices ruffling feathers ahead of festivities
As the UK introduced mandatory measures to keep turkeys inside to curb the deadly avian flu outbreak, the US watched closely as turkey prices spiked and the size of birds shrank. All this ahead of Thanksgiving and weeks away from Christmas sparked concerns that this year’s turkey supplies would come with a raft of complications. Meanwhile, the European Center for Disease Control highlighted that 2021-2022 data showed it was the largest avian flu epidemic in Europe ever, with 48 million birds culled. In the US, there were 582 reported outbreaks of bird flu in more than 80% of US states affected, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC reported the death of more than eight million turkeys.
Fighting consolidation: US funding ramps up markets to move away from meat monopoly
The US government strengthened its crackdown on combating corporate concentration in the meat sector with a US$375 million cash injection. In the first round of investments, authorities put US$73 million on the table for 21 meat and poultry grant projects designed to help local producers and move away from just a handful of meat giants running the sector.
Green transformation of agri-food systems “at the heart of COP27 agenda”
November saw the start of COP27, which promised to put the green transition, especially concerning food, at the front and center of global talks. But, so many targets set and yet to materialize, accelerating commitments toward eating for the health of people and the planet needs to be more than just words. Setting targets to transition toward sustainable food systems is a vital step for the world if the climate crisis is to be adequately tackled. Global leaders descended on Egypt, targeting increased food insecurity and cost of living crises that have been the major challenges so far in 2022.
FDA gives “historic” nod to cell-based chicken in US
Upside Foods became the first company in the world to receive a “No Questions” letter from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cultivated meat, poultry or seafood, which means the government food agency accepts Upside’s conclusion that its cultivated chicken is safe to eat. This was coined a groundbreaking moment for food and is seen as a step closer to commercialization. To have an official “greenlight” in the US regulatory process is a huge step forward for this significant market. The evaluation by the FDA concluded the agency has “no further questions at this time” about Upside Foods’ conclusion that its cell-based chicken is safe to eat.
Emerging ento-vegetarians: Edible insect industry gets legal clarity following Brexit
Insect-consumption advocate Woven scored a crucial win in its fight to have insect protein recognized as a part of the human food chain. After various post-Brexit woes, Woven’s lobbying to UK Parliament to accept insects’ inherent safety and value resulted in an agreement that potentially paves the way for insect protein to become a primary industry. Following Brexit, the sector has been in limbo regarding the legal status of edible insects in the UK, with Woven advocating that insects are safe to eat and could be part of a future shift that will see increasing numbers of ento-vegetarians worldwide.
Israeli leaders gear up for future of food through AI innovation and machine learning
As the food industry attempts to solve the modern problems of sustainable food production, leaders, manufacturers and scientists turn toward an equally modern solution: AI. Within this field, Israel is proving to have an extremely vibrant start-up ecosystem. Within that ecosystem are three exciting start-ups: Eggmented Reality, which is developing egg alternatives from naturally-occurring proteins, Imagindairy, which is producing animal-free dairy proteins that have the same taste, texture, functionality and nutritional benefits as their bovine counterparts, and Alteco.AI, which uses AI to manage the food industry’s energy usage. Eggmented and Alteco.AI are both start-ups within Fresh Start, a food-tech incubator and leader in the agri-food tech cluster in Galilee.
Fi Innovation Awards spotlight sensorial creations, plant-based specialties and new processing techniques
A cohort of new food technologies, highly functional health ingredients, emergent sensory sciences and unique manufacturing processes took center stage at the Fi Innovation Awards, hosted in Paris, France, as part of the Fi Europe 2022 expo. Gerkens Sweety cocoa powders was awarded the Sensory Innovation Award, Bunge was recognized for its PurePro pea and faba proteins, and stevia specialist Sweegen nabbed the Food Tech Innovation Award for its novel bioconversion process.
Chr. Hansen and Novozymes merge in largest Danish deal on record
Bioscience players Novozymes and Chr. Hansen merged in a deal that will result in the dissolution of the latter by the fourth quarter of 2023. The new company is expected to post annual revenues upwards of €3.5 billion (US$3.7 billion). The deal represents the largest merger ever between two Danish companies. Anders Lund, executive vice president for Consumer Biosolutions at Novozymes, explained that the merger would broaden the R&D and production coverage worldwide through a global scale and local presence. The merger will also allow the companies to be stronger equipped to transform customer needs into value-added biobased solutions by leveraging existing solutions across combined commercial reach, advanced discovery, applied research and health benefit documentation, and unparalleled fermentation scale-up capabilities.
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