The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) announced the six finalists that will compete in the inaugural IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge on Tuesday, July 17, at IFT18 in Chicago.
IFT18 is an annual event and food expo that brings more than 20,000 food science professionals together from industry, academia, and government to share, network, and learn about the most recent advances in the science of food.
As part of IFT’s mission to encourage entrepreneurialism and innovation, the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge is a new competition designed to help emerging and investment-ready food companies advance the science of food by providing mentorship and visibility to further the positive impact on our global food supply.
The six selected finalists represent breakthrough solutions across food ingredient, packaging, agriculture, and processing applications.
The finalists in the inaugural IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge include:
C-Fu Foods – an ingredient innovation company developing the next generation of insect-based, value-added food ingredients. The company’s goal is to support the emerging insect food sector with high-quality functional ingredients that solve the technical challenges that limit the use of insects in food.
Inductive Intelligence – a packaging technology company that makes it possible to safely and conveniently heat foods and drinks in a disposable package, using the same device you use to charge your mobile phone battery.
Nebullam – a food technology company that helps home and commercial agricultural growers operate more efficiently and sustainably by combining High-Pressure Aeroponic systems with artificial intelligence technology to advance growing methods.
Renewal Mill – a consumer packaged goods (CPG) and ingredient company that creates high-value superfood ingredients and foods from the USD6bn of unused fiber and starch byproducts of legumes, vegetables, and fruits produced annually.
Rise Products – a food technology company that uses a patent-pending process to convert organic by-products into healthy, tasty, and sustainable food products, starting by turning spent barley from brewers into flour.
Re-Nuble – an agricultural technology company that uses an inexpensive, patent-pending process to transform food waste into chemical-free, organic nutrients for both soil-based and hydroponic cultivation.
“On behalf of IFT, I’d like to congratulate the finalists of the inaugural IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge,” said IFT CEO Christie Tarantino-Dean, FASAE, CAE. “All of these companies represent some of the brightest solutions in the food technology industry and have the potential to positively impact the sustainability and overall health of our global food system. We are honored to provide these entrepreneurs with a platform to push these innovative ideas even further, and support IFT’s vision of advancing the science of food.”
At the launch of the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge in January, 65 companies submitted applications. To get to the finals, applicants went through a three-stage review process, which included 10 organizations virtually pitching their companies during the semi-finals. The six selected finalists have advanced to participate in a six-week mentoring program, where they will receive guidance from business experts and coaching for their live, on-stage pitch at IFT18.
These prestigious judges will select the recipient of the IFTNEXT Future Food Disruptor of the Year award, which includes a USD25k cash prize. A People’s Choice award, which includes a $5,000 cash prize, will be presented to the organization selected by IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge featured session attendees.