Givaudan, Bühler, Cargill, ITAL and The FoodTech Hub Latam jointly announced the opening of Tropical Food Innovation Lab, an innovation ecosystem for the development of sustainable food and beverages focused on the Brazilian biodiversity. Equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure, the innovation center is located in a 1,300 square meter area within the Institute of Food Technology (ITAL) and is the result of a consortium formed by the founding companies in collaboration with the Food Tech Hub LATAM and the Food Technology Institute (ITAL).
This ecosystem will connect research institutes, universities, companies, investors and start-ups providing them access to cutting-edge resources for rapid prototyping and direct connection to the global food and beverage science and technology world.
The hub’s infrastructure includes small-scale processing lines in the pilot plant equipped with state-of-the-art wet and dry extrusion systems for plant-based proteins. Soon, a beverage processing unit will add complementary resources to ITAL’s existing facilities. The space also features application and analysis laboratories. In the cutting-edge demonstration and experimental kitchen, companies, food engineers, nutritionists, chefs, mixologists and other professionals will be able to collaborate to create new products. In the interaction areas, there is a coworking space for creative workshops and pitching.
The Tropical Food Innovation Lab is the latest addition to Givaudan’s global innovation network, which provides the specialized expertise, technology and solutions to accelerate new product development and co-create exciting new food experiences with customers. Other facilities include the Protein Innovation Centre in Singapore, the Zurich Innovation Centre in Switzerland, and the MISTA Centre in San Francisco.
With more than 20% of the planet’s plant biodiversity, spread across six major biomes, and a food industry that historically accounts for 10% of GDP, Brazil is among the largest global producers and exporters of grains and protein. “This innovation ecosystem, not by chance located in Campinas, a reference city for technology in Brazil, brings together the intellectual, technological, scientific and creative power to establish the best connections and solutions for the food chain. It also contributes to Brazil’s prominence, which is already a global exponent," emphasizes Paulo Silveira, the visionary and manager behind Tropical, as well as the founder and chief executive officer of FoodTech Hub Latam.
Eduard Fontcuberta, regional head of Innovation for Latin America at Givaudan, said, “Givaudan has been intensifying its investments in innovation in a collaborative way, which is why we are thrilled to announce the opening of the Tropical Food Innovation Lab. Alongside our partners, we are committed to driving the development of the food industry and promoting solutions for global food safety and sustainability challenges. We will strengthen food innovation in Latin America, with proposals that will delight people’s palates while also delivering nutritious and delicious food experiences.”
“We are honored to be part of this innovation ecosystem that meets the growing demand for the development of new products for the food and beverage industry. We bring our expertise in processes, our cutting-edge technology, and our innovation DNA, always striving for efficient and sustainable solutions that bring value and results to our customers, partners and society,” says Damien Chapelier, head of Bühler South America.
Carlos Prax, Innovation and Technology Leader LATAM at Cargill, states that the Tropical Food Innovation Lab is totally connected to Cargill’s purpose of nourishing the world. “Innovation is one of the keys to achieving this, especially with the growing population and challenges ranging from climate change to new consumption profiles. We are very honored to lead this project alongside such relevant partners for food production not only in Latin America but also in the world,” he emphasizes.
“The Tropical Food Innovation Lab is the materialization of ITAL’s vision that the future is built by combining competencies and infrastructure and applying knowledge to generate innovation and promote entrepreneurship in the field of food science and technology,” says Eloísa Garcia, ITAL’s general director.