The Tropical Food Innovation Lab will provide startups, companies, investors, universities, and research institutions with direct access to high-end technologies for rapid prototyping and plugging into the global food tech ecosystem that will foster fast-paced innovation in the food and beverage sector.
The latest 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 state-of-the-art demo kitchen, where consumers, food scientists, nutritionists, chefs, mixologists, and marketers will work together to create sustainable products.
In a world facing major challenges from climate change, combined with a population expected to exceed 9.5 billion people by 2050, it is essential for the food industry to take action and work towards a regenerative and equitable food system. It means providing healthy, safe, and nutritious food for all while operating within the planetary boundaries.
Rich in biodiversity and potential
Brazil has the richest plant biodiversity on the planet, distributed in six 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.
“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 research, development, and innovation activities with the aim of establishing tools for the creation of a food innovation ecosystem as well as transferring technology for the food production sector to stimulate socioeconomic development,” emphasizes Gisele Camargo, Director of Research Program and Deputy Director of ITAL.
Eduard Fontcuberta, Regional Innovation Head at Givaudan, says: “The Tropical Food Innovation Lab brings a diverse and complementary group of strategic partners to work together investigating market shifts, cross-fertilizing ideas, and nourishing concepts to deliver superior sustainable solutions to Food & Beverage customers. At Givaudan, we continuously challenge ourselves to create delicious and nutritious food experiences. With an expanded portfolio of products across flavors, 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,” says Paulo Silveira, founder of the Food Tech Hub Latam.
“This new innovation lab is a great achievement for Bühler. We believe it will significantly leverage 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. In a dynamic market, only within a collaborative and innovative environment is it possible to support our customers to be successful through the development of new products,” says 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 center of this approach. The Tropical Food Innovation Lab represents a great example of this commitment in Latam, where we will join forces with distinguished partners in a unique environment for co-creation and collaboration to accelerate sustainable innovations that matter to the regional agri-food value chain and, beyond that, to support our customers’ strategy and demands,” says Carlos Prax, Regional R&D Leader at Cargill.
The Tropical Food Innovation Lab is planned to open in the first quarter of 2023.