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On this week’s plate: Fi Europe prepares for next edition in Frankfurt, Germany; SolvEat unveils bioactive solution for functional food products; Mitra9 creates functional beverages with centuries-old herbal ingredient; and more.

Heather Carter

November 20, 2023

4 Min Read
Frankfurt, Germany

At a Glance

  • Fi Europe is scheduled to take place in Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 28-30, featuring more than 1,200 F&B exhibitors.
  • Israel-based food tech startup SolvEat creates dark chocolate bar prototype using new functional, herbal ingredient.
  • Functional beverage company Mitra9 crafts kava-infused beverages with better-for-you positioning.

Fi Europe is only one week away. The world-renowned event, held in Paris in 2022, heads to Europe’s largest financial hub, Frankfurt, Germany for the 2023 edition. Also in Business Bites, Israel-based food startup SolvEat, which recently announced its first bioactive solution for functional food products, is one of the 1,200-plus exhibitors showcasing some of the latest innovations in the industry at the event. Learn more in this week’s column.

Fi Europe 2023 takes over Germany

One of the world’s leading exhibitions for food and beverage ingredients, Fi Europe takes place Nov. 28-30 in Frankfurt, Germany. The event is the European counterpart of Food ingredients North America (FiNA), co-located with SupplySide West, held each year in Las Vegas. Fi Europe is expected to welcome more than 1,200 exhibitors and 25,000 attendees globally and will also feature more than 30 hours of tailored education for F&B professionals. Because of its success at previous editions, the event is also welcoming back the Future of Nutrition Summit, held Nov. 27 at the Movenpick Hotel in Frankfurt. The one-day, in-person summit will feature 10 educational sessions, with a host of knowledgeable speakers detailing the latest innovations from across the food chain to revolutionary food technology. Click here to register.

SolvEat introduces first bioactive solution for functional foods

Food tech startup SolvEat collaborated with boutique chocolatier Ornat to develop a dark chocolate bar prototype featuring its new bioactive solution, which will debut at Fi Europe. The patent-pending herbal solution Solv-S-Balance is composed of eight different plants—including Threeleaf goldthread (Coptis chinensis), Chinese foxglove (Rehmannia glutinosa) and Chinese hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida)—which the company said is designed to potentially help people with prediabetes maintain healthy blood sugar levels when used as part of a regular diet. The solution was developed by SolvEat’s R&D team and two leading Chinese medicine and herbal experts, professors Xia Long and He Yuxin. In vitro analysis confirmed the composition’s sugar-balancing effect on muscle cells, demonstrating a significant uptake of excess glucose, comparable to the action of insulin. In a preliminary clinical observation, the chocolate prototype demonstrated abilities to reduce blood sugar by 10%-24% in the majority (10 of 12) of prediabetic participants; a full clinical is currently in progress. The chocolate prototype, sweetened with sugar alternatives such as monk fruit, is the first delivery system SolvEat produced for the new herbal solution. The microencapsulated formula may also be integrated into a variety of food applications, including snack bars, yogurts, crackers and cookies.

Mitra9 crafts functional beverages with kava

Functional beverage company Mitra9 is on a mission to create healthy, low-calorie functional beverages. The company’s kava seltzers are caffeine free, gluten free and non-GMO, weighing in at only 10 calories per serving. Produced in four flavors—Strawberry Watermelon, Orange Dreamsicle, Lemonade, and Coconut Lychee—each 12-ounce can infuses 500 mg of kava (Piper methysticum) extract sourced from volcanic soils of the Pacific Islands. Kava is known for its calming and relaxing properties, offering a natural, herbal alternative for stress relief for many individuals. A 2004 scientific study found that 300 mg of kava may improve mood and cognitive performance, with subsequent studies and clinical trials also supporting the plant’s potential to treat anxiety, as well as have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.

IFF opens first food and beverage lab in South Korea

New York-based International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) is strengthening its F&B footprint. The company recently opened its first dedicated food and beverage lab in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea. The new co-creation center, as the company calls it, will support local beverage, culinary, snack and dairy manufacturers. It features customer co-creation design spaces, an ultra-high temperature (UHT) dairy and beverage pilot plant for small-scale product testing, and a professional culinary kitchen for IFF’s team to develop seasonings for instant noodles, snacks and sauces. As a supplier of xylitol and protein solutions in South Korea, IFF will also utilize the new lab to create functional products, including high-protein and low- or no-sugar solutions.

Beneo expands liquid chicory root fiber production

Functional ingredient company Beneo recently extended a production line at its plant in Pemuco, Chile, which enables processing capabilities that the company said will triple the shelf life of its liquid chicory root fiber Orafti Oligofructose LL. The prebiotic ingredient is a highly soluble dietary fiber derived from chicory root via a gentle, hot water extraction method. It offers binding and humectant properties for food applications such as cereal bars, as well as sugar reduction and fiber enrichment opportunities in bakery items, cereals and dairy alternatives. Scientific research shows inulin and oligofructose are internationally accepted, proven prebiotics that comply with the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) definition. According to HealthFocus International’s proprietary 2022 Global Trend Study, more than half (61%) of consumers in the Americas reported that they were extremely interested in prebiotics, an increase from 43% in the company’s 2018 Global Trend Study.

About the Author(s)

Heather Carter

Associate editor, Food & Beverage Insider

With over a decade of diverse professional experience under her belt, Heather has journeyed from the bustling world of local news reporting to the intricate realms of trade publishing. She has covered a wide array of topics, ranging from architecture and design to the food and beverage industry.

During her illustrious career, Heather also ventured into the realm of public relations, where she gleaned invaluable insights into the art of strategic communication and brand storytelling. Yet, her heart has always been anchored in the vibrant world of F&B, a passion deeply ingrained in her roots as the daughter of a seasoned chef. She has always held a profound appreciation for the role food plays in shaping cultures and connecting people.

With each story she tells, Heather seeks to illuminate the profound impact of food and beverage on people’s lives, celebrating its ability to evoke emotions, foster connections and weave the fabric of our shared human experience.

As Food & Beverage's associate editor, she co-publishes a weekly news column, Business Bites, which showcases the latest industry news, highlighting key business updates, food and beverage innovation, industry events and more. Some of her other articles touch on important topics, such as ultra-processed foods, plant-based foods primed to change the food landscape, international flavors and ingredients, as well as better-for-you CPGs. She also frequently covers top trends at various industry events and has moderated first-of-their-kind education sessions at Informa events.

She can be reached at [email protected].

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