Up-to-date products and announcements from the food and beverage sector

New sustainable partner programme
MAKEit, the EIT (European Institute for Innovation & Technology) Food project, has launched a new partner programme to accelerate research and development (R&D) innovation across food supply chains. The initiative aims to create a smarter, simpler food chain through a collaborative programme – pioneering new products and processes to improve efficiency, competitive advantage, and support sustainable production. As well as innovation and entrepreneurship, the new partner programme delivers an extensive, resource-rich infrastructure whilst supporting companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility and talent acquisition objectives.

The MAKEit partner programme is divided into three levels, each offering tailored benefits, which include a range of physical and virtual MAKEathons across Europe. The MAKEathons bring together like-minded individuals focused on collaborative creation, and are delivered with maker spaces through an ecosystem of over 100 partners in areas covering sugar, cocoa, seafood, fruit and vegetables, bread and bakery, dairy and meat supply chains.

MAKEit project leader, Dr Shima Barakat said: “Most companies within the food value chain aspire to innovate more to support sustainable production – but R&D activity remains under considerable budget pressure. Our new partner programme offers a collaborative approach that supports transformative innovation whilst reducing costs.”

MAKEit’s collaborative approach supports resource and knowledge sharing to co-create and begin to commercialise new and sustainable solutions for industry-defined challenges. Ideas generated in the MAKEathons yield physical prototypes, resulting in accelerated innovation and higher feasibility of the product concept. Utilising MAKEit resources and its maker community develops ideas from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 0 to TRL 3 or 4 in the equivalent of three days. The partner programme offers corporates a unique way to leverage Universities’ thriving innovation culture, revolutionary entrepreneurship, and create a positive impact on food sustainability.

US factory investment
Nestlé Purina PetCare will invest $550 million to expand its pet food manufacturing facility in Hartwell, Georgia, creating up to 130 jobs. The expansion comes just one year after the factory’s grand opening in November 2019.

In 2017, Purina announced plans to open a wet pet food factory in Hartwell, with a commitment to invest $320 million and employ 240 people by 2023. As a result of growing demand for Purina’s high-quality and nutritious pet care brands, the facility is expanding to add processing, packaging and warehouse capacity, for a total of $870 million committed to the company’s Hartwell operations.

This expansion in Hartwell is part of a broader growth plan for Purina in the United States, which also includes new factories recently announced in Williamsburg Township, Ohio, and Eden, North Carolina. Purina brands feed 49 million dogs and 66 million cats in the US every year, and the Hartwell location produces several of the company’s flagship brands, including Fancy Feast.

First cod harvest
Norwegian aquaculture innovator, Norcod, is on a fast track towards delivering fresh farmed cod to retailers, restaurants, and consumers around the world. The first planned sample harvest and processing has recently been carried out, and samples of fresh cod distributed across Europe and the US. In Denmark, samples were also sent to pro restaurant chefs. Feedback has been very positive.

The planned sampling initiative forms part of the run-up to Norcod’s first projected sales in summer 2021. “Sending real samples from the production is a big step for us and an exciting part of our route to achieving our business goals and delivering value for our shareholders. We have come a long way and I was very excited to hear our customers’ comments on what we believe is a fantastic product with a great future. As well as being great tasting, our cod is responsibly produced and we hope it will become a new healthy source of protein for consumers not only in Europe but around the world,” says Norcod CEO Christian Riber.

“We are very grateful to the restaurants and chefs who have taken time to test the product in spite of the very difficult situation for the hospitality industry due to Covid-19 lockdowns,” he added.

Innovation award honoree
Sigma Phase, Corp. has been selected as a CES® 2021 Innovation Honoree – Home Appliances for the ColdSnap™ rapid freezing appliance, which produces single servings of frozen confections on demand with no mess. The CES Innovation Awards announcement was made ahead of CES 2021 – the world’s most influential technology event, happening January 11-14, 2021.

The ColdSnap machine accepts shelf-stable, ambient temperature ColdSnap pods – and then freezes and dispenses the contents of these pods within 120 seconds. No preparation of ColdSnap pods is required and no cleanup of the ColdSnap machine is necessary. ColdSnap makes single-servings of ice cream, frozen yogurt, frozen coffee, frozen smoothies, frozen healthy shakes (frozen nutraceuticals), and frozen cocktails.

“We are honored to receive this prestigious CES award for our ColdSnap system,” said Matthew Fonte, President of Sigma Phase, Corp. “We have assembled a first-class team and, together, we are moving quickly to create something exciting that doesn’t exist on the market today. ColdSnap’s patented technology has the promise to disrupt the massive global ice cream market with its delicious, personalized, frozen confectionery experience. Our mission is to transform the way frozen confections are produced, transported, purchased, and enjoyed. The ColdSnap system will be released in 2021 – we look forward to sharing ColdSnap with you!”