BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — Puratos, manufacturer of ingredients for the bakery, patisserie and chocolate industries, is launching a new venture to support innovation in food technology. Sparkalis will incubate and invest in startups developing breakthrough products, services and ingredients with a focus on creating baked foods that are healthier and more sustainable.

Investments will include projects related to plant-based, fermentation and digitalization. The venture also will support manufacturing ideas, according to the company. Startups will be mentored by a global network of nearly 100 industry partners and dedicated Puratos specialists with expertise in product development, scaling of market-ready solutions, regulatory requirements and training opportunities. Participants also will have access to the company’s Taste Tomorrow research program, which provides in-depth insights into global and local consumer trends in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate categories.

The launch of Sparkalis builds on Puratos’ 100-year history of innovation for bakers and confectioners. A recent effort includes Bakeronline, a startup allowing bakers to create free personalized web shops.

“Sparkalis was born out of a deep desire to support inspiring food-tech pioneers and build success stories together,” said Filip Arnaut, managing director of Sparkalis and R&D director at Puratos. “Sparkalis underscores Puratos’ continued commitment to driving innovation to create a healthier and more sustainable ‘foodprint’ around the world.”

Sophie Blum, managing partner at Sparkalis and chief marketing officer for Puratos, added, “Sparkalis is looking for the future changemakers among startups in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors. Our team of global experts, each with their own professional background, is excited to transform their visions into successful business realities. This venture provides the perfect growing soil to discover the next big innovation in food while relying on Puratos’ century-long R&D, network and consumer understanding.”