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Frutarom Opens FoodNxt Lab for Start-ups

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Frutarom Ltd. Israel has announced the opening of FoodNxt, a fully equipped innovation lab for food-tech startups.

Leader of Frutarom's innovation labGali Artzi, Ph.D., Frutarom innovation director

“Israel being a start-up nation is not just a cliché,” said Yoni Glickman, president of Frutarom natural solutions. “Start-ups have become the growth engine of the food industry, and Frutarom, through FoodNxt, is working to accelerate this innovation—by providing know-how, processes, technologies, and expertise to help overcome challenges nurture development and launch new products into the global market.”

Selected by the Israel Innovation Authority to operate the innovation lab for the next three years, Frutarom will provide support for start-up companies. Startups selected by Frutarom will be granted 85% of their approved R&D expenses for the purpose of proofing its concept. The FoodNxt team will then assist with selecting product formulas that meet international regulations, help build a business plan, develop a patent strategy and test the product on the market. The lab will also provide start-ups with Frutarom's portfolio of products for developing and testing on modular platforms.

Leading the innovation lab will be Gali Artzi, Ph.D., Frutarom innovation director, who has held several commercial positions in the industry since 2010. Previously, she held key roles VAYA Pharma, Inc. (US) and Enzymotec, Israel and received her B.Sc. in Biology and a Ph.D. in cell research and immunology, both from Tel Aviv University.

“Strategically, we seek real innovation in every aspect of Frutarom activities,” said Glickman. “In the past few years, we have collaborated with innovative startups and companies to identify novel ingredients and technologies. For example, developing the ‘NutraT,’ a line of ready-to-use soluble powder formulas that dissolve easily in water, soft drinks and dairy products, or Frutaceuticals, a nutraceutical line that incorporates functional botanicals into real fruit pieces, developed with Taura URC Technology, and many others. Innovation is one of our key drivers to success in making better-for-you products based on our expertise in taste and health.”

With a goal of expanding its portfolio, Frutarom has made 22 acquisitions over the last two years, with 12 in 2017. Recently, the company was approached by several multinationals for a possible acquisition.