FoodTech: new trends in food technology and health

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GENESIS Biomed is actively working in food innovation projects focused on improving human’s health

Technology and innovation are a key part of the modern food industry. FoodTech start-ups are leading innovation in this field showing a great business potential. In the last 5 years, investment in European foodtech start-ups has tripled, rising from 538M € in 2014 to 1,600M € in 2019, according to data platform Forward Fooding.

One of the top areas in which FoodTech start-ups are innovating is in the relation between diet and health. It is scientifically proved that what we eat has a great influence in our wellness. One example of innovation in healthcare through the diet is Precision Nutrition, that aims at identifying therapeutic targets and molecular mechanisms that can be modulated by nutrients in order to prevent and improve the course of many diseases. A great number of projects that explore how to improve health through nutritional interventions are booming. One example is BeYou, a Barcelona-based start-up that develops digital solutions to promote healthy habits through fitness, gamification, and personalised nutrition. Another interesting company is Foodini -a 3D printer  that “prints” real  food from natural and healthy products that is being used in healthcare centres and in the catering sector.

Using its expertise and extensive knowledge in healthcare biotech, GENESIS Biomed is now supporting entrepreneurs and start-ups in the FoodTech sector with a healthcare focus.

One of the main trends are projects based on the microbiome, the millions of microorganisms that live in our organism, mainly in our digestive system. In the last years numerous studies have described the capacity of the microbiome at influencing conditions such as obesity, inflammatory diseases, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, arteriosclerosis and liver diseases. It has also been shown that it has a role in brain diseases like depression and Alzheimer’s.

An interesting project in which we took part together with  IrsiCaixa investigated the influence of microbiome in the immunity of patients affected by HIV virus. In the study, stools of patients were analysed to sequence the bacteria present in them.

An algorithm applied to the resulting data allowed researchers to predict the prognostic of patients based on their microbiome and facilitated the design of personalised diets to improve their microbiome and, by extension, their immune response.

Personalised nutrition to improve health and wellbeing is another field in which FoodTech start-ups are thriving. GENESIS Biomed has taken active part in Cook2Health, an initiative supported by EIT Health with the participation of University of Barcelona, University of Aberystwyth (Wales) and University Grenoble Alpes. The goal of this ongoing project is to prove the benefits of a coaching tool to promote a personalised diet. A one-year study running at present is monitoring the participants diet through the analysis of 30 parameters including blood, microbiome and urine biomarkers among others. A device designed by the University of Aberystwyth shows the amount and the type of proteins eaten by the participants, allowing to monitor their diet and facilitating the recommendation of potential improvements.

Another project that GENESIS Biomed is about to start aims at bringing to market a salty flavour enhancer with the goal to help patients with hypertension cope with a low salt diet. A prestigious research organisation in Barcelona has developed the component and GENESIS Biomed will support the journey to its comercialisation.

Boosting the benefits of microbiome, developing precision nutrition and engineering food to improve diets are some of the FoodTech trends in which GENESIS Biomed is working. Recently GENESIS Biomed has joined the consortium EIT Food as a Network Partner, which allows us to boost projects in the FoodTech area.

If you happen to be working in an innovation project in the field of FoodTech and health, be sure to get in touch to explore a possible collaboration.

Precision nutrition is a thriving area in health and FoodTech.

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GENESIS Biomed is actively working with FoodTech innovators.