Nothing Ordinary 16 October 2023
INNOFOOD-2023 Digest

With a business agenda including 15 sessions, over 100 participating companies, and a large-scale exhibition of innovative products, EFKO has become the general partner of INNOFOOD – an international forum related to food of the future.

What technologies are needed to avoid famine? Can a human live forever? How will nutrition change in 50 years and will there be a place for common foods in it? Participants ponder over dozens of sophisticated and controversial issues.

What does Olympic champion Roman Kostomarov think about the food of the future?

This year’s traditional INNOFOOD strategic session with bloggers was titled “Food of the Gods: Manna from Heaven or Test Tube Cereal?”

Roman Kostomarov,
an Olympic champion
“In our generation, until 2006, none of the athletes even thought about any innovative products in the diet,” Roman Kostomarov, an Olympic champion, said. “Previously, the problem was basically to have a good meal. Even a few healthful salads were not always readily available for purchase. At that time, the main principle of nutrition for athletes was to eat the volume with enough energy for training. I got used to it. But I think that since many new and useful things are coming now, we shall use them to our advantage. Introduce them into the diet. Things move forward. Plant-based meat was discussed earlier. I’m interested, I’d love to try it.”

And he really tried.

Anton Prokofiev, the brand chef of “Food of the Future”, told the athlete in detail about the composition of Hi! and offered several snacks and coffee with plant-based milk in the new Barista line.

“The meat has an interesting taste, it is the case! The coffee is simply fantastic, flavored, and very delicate. I enjoyed everything,” Roman Kostomarov shared.

“Convincing people to give up sugar is unrealistic. The only option is to look for healthy alternatives."

Denis Manturov, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, appreciated our plant-based meat a year ago. “You have to be a great gourmet to distinguish Hi! from common meat,” he said at the 2022 strategic session.

This time, Sergey Ivanov, EFKO executive director, told Mr. Manturov about the new Hi! Barista product and also shared the latest news on the certification of sweet proteins – healthy alternatives to sugar – as well as suggested considering the possibility of adding them to the list of high-tech products.

Sweet proteins are one of EFKO’s key biotech projects. They are about 2 thousand times sweeter than sugar and don't raise blood sugar levels. Some equatorial plant species naturally contain sweet proteins, but because these plants are so rare, their extraction would be non-profitable.

For two years, scientists from Biruch Innovation Center learned to recreate sweet proteins in the laboratory using biosynthesis and developed an industrial production technology. In 2023, EFKO completed product certification in the United Arab Emirates..

During “Sweetener Trend: A New Threat to Traditional Markets?” session, Sergey Ivanov explained why this project is so important for us.

Sergey Ivanov,
EFKO executive director
“Sugar is the ideal and simplest food for mutagens in our body. It is the root of numerous serious diseases. And the prevalence of diabetes mellitus has now equaled that of a true epidemic. At the same time, this is still the most favorite ingredient in the global industry. This cheap dry substance acts as a crystallizer, filler, preservative, and also a “tasting agent.” People are so accustomed to sweets that convincing them to give up sugar is unrealistic. Especially given today's stress levels. Therefore, the only choice we see is to search for and develop practical substitutes.”

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