Valorized shrimp waste: Vietnam Food awarded at Fi Europe 2019 for upcycled seafood by-products

04 Dec 2019 --- The Fi Innovation Awards, organized by Fi Global as part of the Fi Europe 2019 trade show, culminated last night in Paris, France. At the event, companies were recognized for their solutions in the spaces of clean label, diversity, innovative food tech, nutrition, functionality, plant-based and disruptive potential. FoodIngredientsFirst reports from the showfloor of the event, which honors companies with solutions, services or ingredients that meet current industry challenges across 11 food categories.

Among the notable winners of this year’s awards show was Vietnam Food Industries Joint-Stock Company, showcasing its valorization of shrimp by-products. The Asian manufacturer of instant food took home the Future of Nutrition Award.

Vietnam Food was awarded the Future of Nutrition Award for its upcycled shrimp by-product.

Vietnam Food upcycles shrimp by-products into usable ingredients.
“We turn shrimp by-products into food,” Lily Phan, Executive Assistant to the CEO at Vietnam Food, tells FoodIngredientsFirst. “We turn the waste of a shrimp – the head, tail and shell – into protein-rich food. We analyze it and extract the nutrients. Our products have only been commercialized on the market for two years. Compared to some other companies, we are only just starting out. However, we believe that this is why we won – we have the right message.”

“As Vietnam is one of the leading shrimp producers in the world, the amount of resulting shrimp by-products is a significant burden on the environment and the community if not processed properly. This is why VNF has entered the industry with a biotechnological zero-waste production mindset to process the shrimp by-products from shrimp processors and turn it into value-added food ingredients products.  Our ultimate goal is to turn today’s waste into tomorrow’s resources,” she adds.

Palsgaard was named Sustainability Champion at the ceremony. The Danish emulsifier specialist clinched the award after reducing net CO2 emissions from its six global production sites to zero. In 2010, Palsgaard set itself the goal of becoming completely carbon neutral production within ten years, and met it in 2018 – two years ahead of schedule. Over the course of those eight years, the company reduced its net CO2 emissions from 12,029 tons to zero. In total, its carbon reductions amounted to 56,175 metric tons, which is equivalent to the amount produced by 4,885 EU households per year.

“We’re delighted to have been honored with this award. Climate change is the biggest challenge facing the world right now, and sustainability is not only hugely important to us, but to our customers too. The production of emulsifiers is highly energy-intensive because it requires very high temperatures and high pressure, but we’ve shown that it’s possible to go carbon-neutral,” says Jakob Thøisen, CEO of Palsgaard.

Team VNF and 2 Judge at the awards ceremony

Vietnam Food was awarded the Future of Nutrition Award for its upcycled shrimp by-product.
Meanwhile, Griffith Foods Europe, a product developer and service partner in the protein and snacks market, has won the Food & Beverage Category Innovation Award for its Vegetable based Never Fry coating system. The system was given recognition for its unique product properties – a bright colored, “oven only” coating sytem, containing pure dehydrated vegetables, for a more natural and healthier coating offer with a “unique sensory experience.”

Never Fry combines a functional seasoned batter, a premium breading mixture and a top glaze coating which all contain dehydrated vegetables. These retain taste and essential natural components such as minerals, proteins and fibers. After application, this coating system does not require a frying step but rather a unique hot air treatment in the oven. Unlike traditional coating systems that are always pre-fried in oil, this innovation opens the door to better fat control, improved nutritional profiles, attractive bright colors and purer taste experiences.

The winners of the Fi Innovation Awards are:

Future of Nutrition Award: Vietnam Food Joint Stock Company (upcycling of shrimp by-products). Highly commended in this category was Nucaps Nanotechnology (bioavailable capsules made from natural proteins).
Sustainability Champion Award: Palsgaard (CO2 neutral production).
Clean Label & Natural Innovation Award: Chr. Hansen (Hansen Sweet Potato, a red colorant from sweet potato).
Functional Innovation Award: Bunge Loders Croklaan (Betapol Plus, OPO fats for infant formulas).
Reformulation Innovation Award: Chr. Hansen (Sweety cultures for sugar reduction in fermented dairy products).
Protein Innovation Award: ICL Food Specialties (Rovitaris FBX 360, a texturized protein from the faba bean).
F&B Categories Innovation Award: Griffith Foods (“Never Fry,”  a plant-based coating system for meat and meat alternative products). In this category, the jury highly commended DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences (Choozit BC, enabling pizza makers to control the browning of pizza cheese).
Food Tech Innovation Award: Corbion (Verdad Opti Powder N350, an antibacterial system for Clean Label formulations). In addition, BRACE received a commendation (instant microspheres used in beverage production).
Diversity and Inclusion Award: CP Kelco (Initiative “I belong”).
Plant-Based Innovation Award: Fiberstar (Citri-Fi, natural fibres from citrus fruits, as texturizer and fat replacement in plant-based meat alternatives).

VNF's contest product set at Fi Paris 2019 Innovation Award

Organic Champion Award: In this category, the jury decided that three entrants were equally impressive, and could not choose between them.
In addition to the Innovation Awards, Fi Global hosted the Startup Innovation Challenge, an event launched in 2016 to showcase young and still unknown companies with forward-looking innovations. The winners of this year’s Startup Innovation Challenge are:

Most Innovative Food or Beverage Ingredient: Amai Proteins (designer protein that tastes like sugar with zero calories, zero glycemic index).
Most Innovative Plant or Cereal-based Ingredient: Better Nature (special process for enhancing the nutritional and sensory qualities of tempeh).
Most Innovative Alternative Food or Beverage Ingredient: FUMI Ingredients (scalable technology to produce novel proteins that can be used as egg white replacers).
Most Innovative Process, Service or Technology supporting the Food or Beverage sector: Qwarzo (recyclable, biodegradable and compostable solution to replace, both fully and cost effectively, single-use plastic).
After a decisive pitch the day before Fi Europe & Ni, an eight-member jury consisting of food technologists, market analysts, management in the food and beverage industry and trade journalists, chose their favourites from the nominated companies. The ten winners in 11 categories received their prizes from Fi Europe Brand Director Julien Bonvallet and jury chairman Dr. Colin Dennis of the IFIS (International Food Information Service) Board of Trustees.

“The Panel was very impressed by the breadth and diversity of the innovations. In addition, the inclusion of the Diversity and Inclusivity Award this year highlighted the essential role the entire workforce can play in innovation across cultures and nations. The ingredients industry is to be congratulated on the speed at which it is responding to customer and consumer demands,” comments Dr. Dennis at the conclusion of the ceremony.