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      Flavoured water without flavours wins at innovation meeting

      A bottle that gives water flavour without any additives was the winner at the first Food Marketplace event organised by the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT), the European Union’s nutrition platform.

      Twenty-five start-ups in food and food production from all over Europe, were invited to the event to pitch their ideas covering the food process chain.

      Approximately 160 visitors including representatives of the food industry, attendees were able to invest in the various ideas of the start-ups.

      Dr. Georg Schirrmacher, director of EIT Food in Germany, said: “In terms of healthy nutrition and new techniques we want to offer a platform with a lot of publicity to young junior researchers.” It is the responsibility of EIT Food on behalf of the EU and as a transformer to make the food system fit for the future with the help of innovations. Sustainability, healthy nutrition and new ways of training at universities are crucial factors.

      “But each and every one of us can help transform the food system worldwide with well-considered decisions what to buy and what to eat,” Schirrmacher said.

      The winner was Jannis Koppitz, CEO and founder of Air UP Gmbh – a bottle that produces flavoured water without the flavour. In the lid of the reusable bottle is a small aroma sponge that emits a smell that turns into a flavour when drinking the water through the straw. The company was awarded €6,000 as winners.

      Koppitz said: “While you suck through the straw and drink at the same time, our palate communicates the mix as the flavour. Thanks to the replaceable aroma sponges, this can be anything from mango to lime to cucumber.

      “In the future, drinks will not have to contain any additives or sugar, just a little bit of a completely natural flavour.”

      In addition to the Air UP, businesses presented a new plant-based milk, software that helps advise on the healthy nutrition for hospital patients, as well as banana chips made from bananas thrown away by supermarkets.

      EIT Food, determined the winner’s idea based on the largest investment that the respective start-up had received from the visitors of the marketplace.

      EIT plan to hold a second Food Marketplace next year with even more start-ups invited.

      Dr. Schirrmacher said: “It is our mission to help and bring brilliant food chain ideas from production to consumption into business.”

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