For the third time, trade show organizer UBM is providing a platform for forward-looking industry startups. During Hi Europe & Ni, the “Startup Innovation Challenge” enables newcomers to present their solutions to a professional audience. If they win, they will receive comprehensive expert coaching and marketing support. This year’s 13 shortlisted companies have now been announced.

The companies will pitch live on Tuesday, Nov. 27 2018, the first day of the show, at the Industry Insights Theatre. The winners of the three categories will receive their awards following the live pitches.

Shortlisted for the category “Most Innovative Healthy Food or Beverage Ingredient”:

FunGeneX / Netherlands: This company has developed a technology to produce egg white proteins based on sugar from sugar beet. These products fulfill the need for binding proteins that are neutral in color, taste and smell for vegan applications, while contributing to reduced global warming and animal suffering.

GNUBiotics / Switzerland: This is a biotech startup active in R&D to reproduce the diversity and complexity of unique structures found in mothers’ milk. It is developing a novel platform for selective microbiota modulation via next generation Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) using up to 130 Microbiota Accessible Carbohydrates (MACs) structures.

Magellan Life Sciences/UK: This is a synthetic biology company creating novel platforms to produce plant-inspired molecules, such as a natural non-caloric protein sweetener called Brazzein that is inspired by the West African fruit Oubli.

Renewal Mill/USA. This company is upcycling by-products from food manufacturing into high-quality ingredients and finished products. The pilot project is using okara, the soybean pulp generated during soymilk production to create an organic, non-GMO, low-carb flour. 

Planetarians/USA. This company makes high protein ingredients from upcycled by-products using patent-pending technology. They add value to overlooked ingredients such as defatted seeds by converting them into a high-protein, high-fiber ingredient, allowing manufacturers to fortify foods. The company’s first product is sunflower chips with more protein and fiber, and less fat than typical potato chips.

Shortlisted for “Most Innovative Plant-Based Finished Product”:

Green Banana Food/The Netherlands: This company  produces foodstuffs and ingredients from the native cooking green banana, such as a flour that can be used to create high nutrient, low carb, gluten free & high dietary fiber food solutions such as Gabanna pasta. 

Jet-Eat Printed Food/Israel: This company is developing an animal-free meat with the same appearance, texture, flavor and cooking properties of animal meat, from natural, sustainable and healthy ingredients. Based on 3D printing technology, the company creates meat products with 95% less environmental impact compared to beef, with zero cholesterol and a lower cost. 

Shileo/Germany. This is an online food start-up that sells konjac rice and pasta meals. These low-cal and low-carb alternatives to normal pasta and rice are suitable for vegans, high in soluble fiber and can help with weight loss.

Shortlisted for “Most Innovative Technology or Service Supporting F&B”:

Ambrosus/Switzerland: This is a blockchain-powered Internet of Things network for food and pharmaceutical enterprises, enabling secure and frictionless dialogue between sensors, ledgers and databases to optimise supply-chain visibility and quality assurance. 

Aryballe/France:  This company develops and manufactures bio-inspired odor sensors, which detect and identify odors in less than 15 seconds, allowing the food industry to quickly assess the olfactive qualities of materials.

Better Juice/Israel: This company has created a solution for reducing natural sugars in fruit juices. The patent-pending technology harnesses the activity of non-GMO microorganisms to bio-convert sugars to dietary fibres and non-digestible natural molecules.

Embion/Switzerland. This company produces new prebiotic solutions for human, animal and soil microbiome nutrition from agricultural and food processing side-streams. A novel processing technology targets and extracts natural prebiotic ingredients from biomass with lower production costs, higher yield and processing speed than usual. 

Nucaps/Spain. This company has developed a new nanoencapsulation technology for nutraceutical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical uses. This encapsulation process, designed for oral delivery and controlled release of bioactives and microorganisms, is based on the use of food proteins such as casein, zein or soya.

Rahul Shinde is director of Global Open Innovation at Naturex Ingenium, sponsor of the competition; and sits on the advisory board at the Startup Innovation Challenge. 

“Through our partnerships we are hoping to provide additional support, guidance, access and resources that can enable these start-ups to succeed,” says Shinde. “But, ultimately, it’s their product and their vision that will prevail. We really value their time, commitment and desire to bring innovative solutions to the marketplace, and especially innovations focused on plant-based solutions.”

Three finalists winners will receive individual advice from one of the judges. In addition, the successful nominees can choose from various special prizes—from a fully equipped stand at Hi Europe or Fi Europe; a marketing campaign within the Ingredients Network; access to the "Conciergerie" innovation platform from Presans; or intensive consultation with Wageningen University & Research.

In addition, one startup will be selected by Naturex Ingenium as their special prize winner. This startup will win €10,000 plus a three month business mentorship with the Naturex Ingenium Open Innovation team.

About Hi Europe & Ni

Since 2000, Hi Europe & Ni (Natural ingredients) has been bringing together health and nutrition industry professionals from all over the world. Held in Frankfurt, the leading platform for health ingredients is a central meeting point at which to explore this growing market of innovation. The biennial event alternates with Fi Europe (Food ingredients Europe).

About UBM 

Hi Europe & Ni is organised by UBM EMEA. UBM is the largest pure-play B2B events organiser in the world. 3,750+ people, based in more than 20 countries, serve more than 50 different sectors. Our deep knowledge and passion for these sectors allow us to create valuable experiences which enable our customers to succeed. UBM   EMEA   is   committed   to   the   continual improvement of sustainability and aims to  be  a  leader  in  sustainable  business,  aligning all  key  business  decisions  with  our  sustainability strategy. UBM EMEA sees it as fundamental that we are conscious of the impact that our actions have on the environment and the communities in   which   we   operate.   As one of the first major organizers UBM EMEA successfully implemented a sustainable event management system and was ISO 20121 certified. Please visit for the latest news and information about UBM.