YFood boss points to growing food revolution

By Ellie Woollven

- Last updated on GMT

The world of food and drink is being disrupted by innovative new start ups
The world of food and drink is being disrupted by innovative new start ups
Plant-based sushi, pork and caviar replacements were all highlighted by Nadia El Hadery, chief executive and founder of YFood, organiser of a week in London celebrating food industry revolutionaries.

El Hadery explained that YFood was the world’s biggest curated community of companies looking to change the world of food. It now grouped together 19,000 companies under its banner and had organised more than 250 events since 2013, she said. Food Tech Week is running from May 20 – 24.

Speaking to attendees on the second day of the event, she pointed to the huge range of companies and brands now developing plant-based products, among several other trends.

Plant-based revolution

  • Ahimi – a plant-based alternative to sushi from Ocean Hugger Foods
  • Omn!Pork – a plant-based pork analogue, developed in North America
  • Tang-Huset ­– a Danish company using microalgae to create a plant-based caviar and masago.

In addition, El Hadery looked at the growth of personalisation in food.

Food is becoming more and more about our personalised identities​,” she said. “There is a huge recognition that what I eat and what you eat may not be the same requirement​.”

Personalisation in food

  • Mela – which is producing chocolates with a bacterial cocktail specifically designed to address gut health
  • Lumen – the first device to track and monitor consumers’ metabolisms through their breath and help them eat healthily
  • Foodpairing – computer-aided intelligence for recipe creation and flavour research.

Tons of innovation was out there aimed at reducing consumers’ carbon footprint, she added, pointing to a number of companies involved in this field.

Reducing carbon footprint

  • Growing Underground – a company developing salads and microherbs beneath Clapham Junction railway station, a project that it is looking to take to other cities.
  • Blendhub – a global network of food powder blending units in a decentralised production hub.

Other examples touched on by El Hadery featured companies focused on functional foods and health, those engaged in reuse and reducing waste and others offering community engagement and consumer insight, enabling companies to retain their touchpoints with consumers as they become bigger.

For the additional list of companies referred to by El Hadery, see box below.

Food and drink innovators

A selection of companies creating waves in food and drink

  • New Wave Foods – a producer of plant-based shrimp
  • National University of Singapore, which has developed Vocktail – a programmable cocktail glass to personalise your cocktail taste experience
  • ten-ace – a drinking bottle that flavours pure water just through scent
  • Simris – a company that delivers natural food products from farmed algae in Sweden
  • Algama – a project to create alternative foods from microalgae
  • Just – a company that produces eggless, plant-based mayo and is moving into the plant-based protein and lab-grown meat markets
  • Solein – a brand from Finnish company Solar Foods that is creating a protein source free from agricultural limitations
  • Atomo! – a company creating molecular coffee without the use of coffee beans
  • Endless West – a creator of molecular spirits, including Glyph, a whiskey that needs no barrel ageing to achieve the same aged flavour
  • Perkii – an Australian producer of non-fermented, low-calorie probiotic drinks to deliver beneficial bacteria straight to the gut
  • Four Sigmatic – a firm producing mushroom-based beverages
  • Motif Ingredients – which has received $90m in financing to develop its biotechnology to recreate proteins from dairy, egg and meat
  • Douxmatok – which uses nanotechnology to achieve targeted delivery of flavour ingredients such as sugar and salt
  • Mycotechnology – which uses mushroom extract to reduce sugar, transform plant-based proteins and fix flavour defects
  • Strykk – producer of zero-proof alternatives to traditional alcohols
  • Chip[s] Board – a maker of board made out of potato waste
  • Clipper Teas – a tea producer that uses plastic-free teabags
  • Biofase – developer of a unique technology to make biopolymer from avocado seed
  • Snact – a maker of ‘wholesome food waste-fighting’ snacks
  • ChicP – a producer of hummus made from surplus vegetables
  • Toast – a producer of ale made with surplus bread
  • Bio-bean – a clean technology firm that recycles used coffee grounds on an industrial scale
  • Mimica – creator of a bioreactive expiry label for all types of perishable products
  • TIPA – a producer of compostable flexible packaging
  • Thinfilm – a supplier of NFC tags to enhance consumer engagement, brand protection and data insights
  • Mcc-multicolor – which has combined with Talkin’ Things to develop a label for Black Red Ale beer combining NFC, AR and facial recognition technology to create a customer experience

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