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FoodTech venture fund Sparkalis has taken a minority stake in Fooditive, a next-gen food technology business specialising in sustainable plant-based ingredients. Fooditive’s innovations include an upcycled calorie-free natural sweetener with the taste and functionality of sugar, which is derived from apple and pear side streams.

Following the investment, Sparkalis Managing Director Filip Arnaut has joined Fooditive’s advisory board. There are now 11 foodtech experts sitting on the board. They will provide advice and insights to support Fooditive’s mission to create plant-based ingredients that are healthier for consumers, better for the planet and kinder to animals.

Fooditive, based in the Netherlands, has risen to prominence for successfully harnessing its precision fermentation technology to produce groundbreaking innovations such as vegan casein and bee-free honey. It also recently became the first food industry signatory to the Washington Compact, a new agreement on conducting business operations in outer space.

About Fooditive BV
Based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Fooditive is a plant-based ingredient manufacturer committed to making healthy food available for all with its 100% natural ingredients. Since it was established in 2018, Fooditive has used its unique fermentation process to create a world-renowned sweetener, made from side-streams of apples and pears. The sweetener’s unique approach provides not only taste but also functionality and a sustainable impact. As the world begins to recognize the value in veganism and sustainability, Fooditive has also recently launched a new plant-based protein that can be used in the food industry to replace dairy in food and beverage applications.

About Sparkalis
Sparkalis is an independent corporate venture fund, and a sister company of PURATOS, the global leader in the B2B bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors. Sparkalis’s mission is to work with start-up founders, innovative and business-driven entrepreneurs to transform exciting ideas into successful business realities. Sparkalis is committed to investing in innovative solutions to create, with future partners, a healthier and better ‘food print’ for today’s and tomorrow’s generations around the world.

Fooditive, the precision fermentation specialist, has become a signatory to a new agreement outlining non-binding principles for how businesses should conduct themselves in outer space.

The Washington Compact on Norms of Behavior for Commercial Space Operations was formalised on Wednesday 8 February 2023 in Washington D.C. and has been signed by 53 individuals, organisations and companies. The compact is similar to the Artemis Accords, which were drawn up to ensure governments behave responsibly in space, but is applicable to companies and civilians instead.

Fooditive, which develops innovative, sustainable plant-based ingredients, is the first, and currently the only, signatory from the global food production sector. CEO and Founder Moayad Abushokhedim travelled to the US to sign the compact, which has now been submitted to the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Fooditive has taken an interest in the future of space exploration for several years already. It is currently developing a 3D printing technology which can produce food from waste plastic, called BioPrint. It is planned to be ready for use in time for the first mission to land humans on Mars, which is expected to launch in the late 2030s or early 2040s.

Creation of the Washington Compact was spearheaded by the Hague Institute for Global Justice, a non-profit organisation that promotes peace, security and justice. Its President, Lady Sohair Salam, also sits on Fooditive’s Advisory Board.

Fooditive, a pioneer in developing plant-based ingredients, is gearing up for a game-changer in the industry: a Novel Food licence from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for its sweetener. The Dutch company has developed from a concept to a company worth of 26 million euros in 2022 and is making significant progress. Founded on the belief that sustainability is more than a trend, Fooditive provides innovative and natural ingredients to food and beverage manufacturers.

The company’s unique process allows them to develop a remarkable sweetener, made from side streams of apples and pears. The production process has been enhanced and evolved from batch to continuous fermentation, to be able to deliver on the high demand from the food industry by producing up to 30 tonnes of sweetener per week. For this purpose, 83 tonnes of apples and pears are being upcycled, raw material that is considered as side streams, third-grade by juice manufacturers or simply the “ugly fruit”.

The sweetener – the first of Fooditive’s cutting-edge products – sparked a sugar-free, plant-based revolution. The company hopes to make a ground-breaking step towards establishing the sweetener in the market by forming a successful collaboration with a production partner in the Netherlands.

Fooditive has already been offering the sweetener for research and development purposes to players in the food industry to determine which applications their sweetener performs best in. After three years’ worth of learning and development, feedback, and support from the food industry, the company will submit the sweetener as 5-D-Keto-Fructose in the process of applying for Novel Food certification from the European Food Safety Authority.

Global competitor

Following the recent study by ReportLinker, Fooditive is the only start-up and Dutch company that is considered as one of the global competitors for food sweeteners in the industry competing alongside with several of the leading ingredient market vendors. Fooditive provides an innovative sweetener to companies, for different product applications where it can deliver not only the sweet taste but also the functions of sugar.

The sweetener is developed from the extraction of fructose through fermentation and its conversion to 5-D-Keto-Fructose through bio-refining techniques. Fooditive has accomplished this through its innovative approach to offer solutions by valorizing side-streams and starting from different raw materials, including cherries and bananas, to transform them into valuable, healthy ingredients.

Exciting journey

The Fooditive team is aware that the road ahead will be long and challenging. However, they know that completing its goal of securing EFSA approval for such a unique ingredient comes with a slew of benefits. Investors, venture capitalists, food attorneys, and consultants are invited to join the company’s journey on this effort to deliver this game-changer to the market.

Fooditive® BV and Frutco AG, are pleased to announce a partnership to bring the Fooditive® banana sweetener line to Europe. Fooditive B.V. confirms its commitment to the fight against “food waste” and for more sustainability, and its promise to supply consumers with products of the highest quality. Frutco® is one of the largest processed tropical fruit companies in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America. As an exclusive partner, Frutco® will use the Fooditive production methods for bananas, and the Fooditive® banana sweeteners will be industrially manufactured and distributed.

Investing in a sustainable use of resources in the food industry, using affordable technologies, supports our customers in minimizing their CO2 footprint. In order to further strengthen their commitment in the fight against “food waste” and for sustainability in the food industry. Fooditive® and Frutco® AG, is constructing a multi waste- and residues-based biodiesel plant that can handle all banana side streams and tropical fruits as the aim of group of companies has a plant for continuous fermentation. It will process the side streams – including those from banana processing, but also from other tropical fruits – into fruit extracts and sweeteners.

Sustainable future

With the commitment and promise of Frutco® AG to deliver on sustainability and providing the world, with plant-based sustainable sweetener, that can improve our health and remove carbon emissions from the supply chain.

“Years ago, we made it our mission to be 100 % sustainable by 2030, making the world a better place bit by bit and doing our part. With Fooditive by our side, we are now expanding our product range and creating a new sweet world, but one that is resource efficient and healthier. We are confident that this project will allow us to achieve another milestone in continuing to conserve resources, protect the environment and strengthen the health of many people.” Ms. Claudia Lauener Hofer COO, Frutco® AG

The plant will use very latest technology of Fooditive® B.V. that enables the processing of all types of fruits and vegetables side stream, including by-products from food processing, and waste from the food industry, and non-food crops grown on marginal land. Banana sweetener will be product that provide functionalities, taste and fiber intake that will provide products better sugar substitutes.

“ This project will be the leading future for better world, a world in which we use all types of plant-based side streams that can make and improve people life providing food ingredients that are healthy and sustainable  , our project with Frutco AG is the promise for delivering the product with the highest standers and only the best business partners” says Moayad Abushokhedim – CEO, Fooditive® B.V.

By combining the passion from Fooditive® and Frutco® AG expertise’s and culture of innovation with the capabilities of critical partners from food industry, we have introduced products that strengthen the future of food and use the world innovation to make big impact.

The project and production capacity will be the ground breaking on the industry that uses first continues fermentation to produce sweeteners and functional ingredients . Project will commence in January 2021, with the plant due to open in mid 2022. The new facility will create around new direct jobs and ability to provide healthier options for food industry that has challenges.

What others consider waste, Fooditive considers a primary resource. Its new 100 % natural sweetener is produced from apple and pear leftovers, making it a chemical- and allergen-free sugar substitute. The sweetener came into fruition after founder and food scientist the Jordanian, Moayad Abushokhedim noticed that the multi-billion-dollar industry had been dominated by unhealthy sweeteners and had seldom seen change. Cue Fooditive.

Fooditive’s “mission is to develop food additives that contribute to a healthier body and a healthier environment” (Abushokhedim) with sustainability at its core. In 2019, Fooditive caught Rabobank’s attention and was awarded the Innovation Loan.

“Fooditive contributes to the European food industry by offering healthy alternatives to chemical sweeteners. Additionally, this product helps battle food waste. This fits in with our vision of Banking for Food: Rabobank wants to facilitate and support entrepreneurs in the agricultural and food industries, now and in the future to contribute to a more sustainable way of feeding the world” (Wiel Hopmans, SME account manager at Rabobank Rotterdam).

Fooditive is currently developing a range of other products in food ingredients, the specifics of which will be revealed later this year. The sweetener complies with EU organic standards, which has led to Fooditive being awarded the Skal certification meaning it can also produce an organic sweetener next to its regular one. In 2019, Fooditive have partnered with sustainable third-party production company Bodec. Allowing the zero-calorie sweetener to reach consumers through products in Dutch supermarkets. This year, it will be further distributed to various food and beverage companies across the Netherlands.

Last year, Fooditive began collaborating with Rotterdam Circulair, an organisation that is dedicated to reducing, re-using and recycling waste and whose ultimate goal is to transition from a linear to a circular economy by 2030. Fooditive plays a major role in achieving this target because its sweetener is transforming and challenging the long-standing sugar-substitute industry from a greener, healthier and more sustainable perspective.

It is not just the Netherlands that is interested in Fooditive, Sweden also wants to pear up. In October 2019, €100,065.63 was raised to set up the now registered branch in Stockholm. Future plans include expanding to the UK and Jordan. By starting production in these countries, Fooditive aims to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to an all-round better future.