Maarssen, 7 November 2007 – The winners of the prestigious ‘Best Innovation in Food Ingredients 2007’ awards were announced last week at Fi Europe 2007 in London, UK. The awards, which honour the industry’s most innovative ingredients, leading-edge technology and prized research, have been running since 1994 and are one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures in the food industry calendar.
Dutch firm EBI Food Safety fended off competition from eight other finalists to scoop the coveted Gold award for its Listex product, a commercial bacteriophage that eliminates the deadly food pathogens Listeria monocytogenes without affecting the other properties of the food. Listex is effective in a range of Listeria-susceptible products, such as hams, hot dogs, cheese, fish and many RTE (Ready To Eat) products.
“Listex is a true innovation; a new approach to an urgent and growing problem that affects both consumers and manufacturers,” said Henry Dixon, [non-voting] chairman of the judging committee, explaining the judges’ reasons for choosing EBI Food Safety as this year’s Gold trophy winner.
Mark Offerhaus, CEO of EBI Food Safety, was thrilled to learn of the accolade: “We’re honoured by the judges’ decision,” he said. “This choice is confirmation from the industry that the use of phages is a logical one. Last month the largest frozen hamburger producer in the US went out of business, just two weeks after its first ever product recall. The consequences of a contaminated product reaching the market can be catastrophic. Use of natural phages translates into risk reduction, valued by shareholders & consumers alike.”
The Silver award went to Citri-Fi, a range of citrus fibre ingredients developed by US company FiberStar that can be used to deliver fat replacement, moisture management, water and oil binding or thickening. The judges said that in creating Citri-Fi, FiberStar had pioneered a novel process that results in a natural ingredient which provides great functionality at low cost using a previously discarded waste stream.
Lactosalt Optitaste from French firm Armor Proteines scooped the Bronze accolade. Lactosalt Optitaste is a dairy mineral concentrate obtained through milk fractionation using specialised technology. It is a unique salt
substitute that combines three of the benefits of salt: good taste, clean label credentials and ionic strength. It has no after-taste and is process compatible in bread, meat, cheese and soup. The judges said Lactosalt Optitaste impressed them because it provides a simple but effective answer to the pressing need to reduce sodium in a wide range of processed foods.
The three winners were chosen from over 50 entries by a distinguished judging panel. Chaired by Henry Dixon, commercial director of international food marketing communications agency Barrett Dixon Bell, the judging committee included several eminent industry figures, including Unilever’s Albert Zwijgers, Danone’s Georges Bruelle and Ahold’s Dick Roozen.
“This year’s Fi Awards have been the most exciting ever,” said Henry Dixon. “We received
more entries than ever before and had a really good spread of innovations and market factors. They were extremely strong finalists and can all be proud of what they have achieved.”
Greg Cherry, Fi Europe 2007 event director, said: “Every industry has its stars. The ‘Best Innovation in Food Ingredients’ awards are designed to honour the ‘heroes’ of the ingredients industry by creating an innovation showcase for ingredients and technologies that are really making a difference. We warmly congratulate the three winners and thank all those who helped make this year’s awards a resounding success.”
The ‘Best Innovation in Food Ingredients 2007’ awards took place alongside the Fi Europe and Natural ingredients 2007 exhibitions, held in London from 29 October to 1 November. Visitors from 140 countries flocked to the show to see over 1,000 ingredient suppliers. While audited visitor statistics are not yet available, preliminary data has indicated that Fi Europe 2007 attracted more senior decision makers than the last Fi show in Paris in 2005 - over 70% visitors to this year’s show were upper level managers. It’s not surprising, therefore, that many exhibitors are already snapping up space at Fi Europe 2009, which will take place in Frankfurt, Germany.
About the Organizer
CMP Information is a division of United Business Media, which is headquartered in London, UK. The office in the Netherlands is the organiser of the world-leading Health ingredients, Food ingredients, CPhi, ICSE and Informex series of food and pharmaceutical ingredients trade shows. The Dutch office also publishes International Food Ingredients Magazine (www.ifi-online.com) and organises related conference activities. For more information, visit www.cmp.com.