SAN FRANCISCO — Food technology startup Comet Bio won the Givaudan Innovation Challenge at the Future Food-Tech conference held in March in San Francisco. Givaudan, the Vernier, Switzerland-based manufacturer of flavors and functional solutions, hosted the competition to identify collaboration opportunities with a producer of breakthrough natural and healthy ingredients.
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., and London, Ont., Comet Bio’s technology transforms crop leftovers into sustainable products. Its Arrabina line of arabinoxylan dietary fibers has been clinically proven to maintain healthy blood glucose levels, support immune health and grow beneficial bifidobacteria in the gut. The fibers are upcycled certified and may be used in a broad range of food and beverage applications with no negative impact on taste or performance, according to the company.
“We want to thank Givaudan for selecting Comet Bio as the challenge winner,” said Rich Troyer, chief executive officer of Comet Bio. “Being selected represents more than an award win, but an opportunity to collaborate with Givaudan’s leading innovation team as we continue to grow our proprietary line of Arrabina dietary fibers.”
Comet Bio recently raised $25 million in Series C funding to invest in innovation and commercialization of the Arrabina product line. The company has partnered with RE Energy to update and expand an existing facility in Kalundborg, Denmark, that will produce more than 4 million kilograms (8.8 million lbs) of Arrabina per year.
Comet Bio was among three finalists to present a live pitch at the conference to a panel of judges from Givaudan, including Emilie Fromentin, head of Explore Health & Nutrition, and Alex Bastos, head of Front End Innovation.
“Our objective with the challenge was to find innovative new ingredients with gut health and immunity benefits to fit into our taste and well-being initiatives,” Ms. Fromentin said. “We were really impressed with Comet Bio and Arrabina.”
Future Food-Tech teams with leading companies to highlight emerging talent and solve problems in product development. Kraft Heinz Co., Kellogg Co., Unilever, Roquette and Quorn Foods have launched similar challenges previously.“We received so many applications from visionary companies around the world for the Innovation Challenge in partnership with Givaudan,” said Oliver Katz, conference producer at Future Food-Tech. “We were delighted to see Comet Bio crowned the winner. We can’t wait to learn more about this new collaboration and how it will bring us all even closer to the future of food.”