Innovative foods with an eco-friendly trend are increasingly popular



Biodegradable chewing gum, chickpea desserts, cocoa pod drinks and many other innovative foods with an eco-friendly trend are increasingly popular at international food fairs.

This shows that people are paying more attention not only to healthy foods that do not contain genetically modified ingredients, but also foods with "high responsibility" for the environment and  climate.

Innovative foods with an eco-friendly trend are increasingly popularThe Swiss company Koko Joo won the SIAL start-up award for a cocoa bean-based non-alcoholic beverage. / ph: Koko Joo

Although the SIAL, the world's largest biennial food fair in Paris (France), is not organized as intended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers of the fair still evaluate and award prizes for innovative and valuable products to life as its customary for over 50 years of this fair's history.

Out of the 500 newly tested products - from black garlic to pork pies - SIAL's judges are very impressed with the fact that the products are rich in plants, simple, and clean origin, because they believe that these foods are healthier with less additives, less genetically modified ingredients, and developed in accordance with social and environmentally beneficial norms.

The gold medal for SIAL innovation goes to the frozen Gnocchi cake from Bocon, Italy, with 70% vegetable ingredients, including spinach, spirulina along with peas and green tea.  

Triumph, a French food processing company, won a bronze medal for sugar-free vegan chewing gum or aspartame (a saccharide artificial sweetener).  These candies are made with the natural rubber of the sapodilla tree and are likely to decompose within three weeks, which is good news for school and movie theater chair cleaners.

However, the packaging of the products is still the problem causing the transition due to the environment to slow down significantly.  The culprit is plastic, a material that has made a strong comeback due to consumer concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

The trend of using popular food products with new ways of processing to create new flavors has significantly prevented waste.  For example, biscuits made with brewers' used grain are gaining popularity.

The Swiss company Koko Joo won the SIAL start-up award for a cocoa bean-based non-alcoholic beverage.  The Ecotrophelia Prize for European food industry students was awarded to two young Portuguese men with a dessert made of aquafaba, a viscous liquid obtained when chickpeas are cooked and rich in protein.  They combined it with orange peel and bee pollen, among other ingredients.

Dominique Ladeveze, the award-winning coordinator, said the dessert combines sustainability and health, as it uses pears and carbohydrate-rich vegetables, which can be used by diabetes patients.  A trend among the younger generation is to use inexpensive ingredients and through processing to add value to that ingredient.

Another runner-up was awarded to the team from Greece with a bread made from wheat flour mixed with olive pulp and fruits and vegetables.

Xavier Terlet, head of the Proteines XTC group, which tracks market trends for SIAL, says the COVID-19 crisis has reinforced a number of trends, including the promotion of affordable foods and meat substitutes.

Mr. Terlet added that the global economic outlook is still gloomy due to epidemic diseases, so many products reintroduced to SIAL will be sold at the lowest possible price.  According to him, plant-based meat and fish alternatives will continue to be popular.  

Innovative foods with an eco-friendly trend are increasingly popular

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