Puratos has underlined its commitment to food innovation for good, by taking another step in its search for the food industry’s next big gut health-boosting thing.

The bakery expert crowned sustainable, fiber-focused start-up BCD Bioscience the winner of its Innovation Challenge: Technology Enabled Solutions to Enhance Gut Health at last week’s Future Food-Tech Summit in London. Puratos joined forces with Future Food-Tech, a prestigious industry event aimed at building healthier and more sustainable food systems, to find dynamic innovators developing solutions to modulate the gut microbiome and unlock benefits for physical and mental well-being. 

Alongside fellow finalists Kaffe Bueno and FitBiomics, BCD Bioscience pitched its innovative grain-based fiber solution to Puratos judges and a summit audience of global food brands, corporates, start-ups and investors at the two-day event. BCD Bioscience, which is dedicated to the discovery and development of new bioactive functional fibers from a variety of food sources and byproducts, presented its barley beta-glucan product and outlined its power to revolutionize the bakery sector. The upcycled ingredient has been specially formulated to help close the global fiber gap, without compromising taste, and consequently improve public health outcomes. After impressing the judging panel, the USA-based start-up was revealed as winner by Puratos live on stage on Thursday. 

Paul Baisier, group chief R&D officer at Puratos, who led the challenge, said: “At Puratos, we have a strong belief in connecting the art of baking with the science of gut health and are dedicated to investing in the discovery of solutions that improve human health and nutrition, in a sustainable way. BCD Bioscience has huge potential and fits perfectly with Puratos’s core objective of food innovation for good, fully embracing and encompassing our key pillars of ‘Better Health’ and ‘Better Planet.’ Its new fiber technology platform has led to the discovery of novel functional fibers with a dual benefit; helping to improve gut health modulation and produce gut health promoting compounds. We look forward to helping them to optimize the nutritional aspect of baked goods, without compromising on taste and texture, through functional and technology-driven solutions.” 

As part of the winner’s prize, BCD Bioscience will now be invited to pitch to Sparkalis, Puratos’s Food-Tech Venture Arm. The launch of the fund was sparked by a desire to invest in partnerships and innovative technologies that create a healthier and better "food print" for today and tomorrow’s generations around the world. BCD Bioscience will also benefit from senior leadership coaching during a minimum two-day internship at Puratos, and access to Puratos’s R&D capabilities and resources, including sessions at Puratos’s Innovation Centre at its headquarters in Belgium.

Commenting on the win, Matt Amicucci, co-founder VP of R&D at California-based BCD Bioscience, added: “This is a huge accolade for the BCD team and important validation of our vision and ambition, as well as our technology. From the moment we saw the call for applications, we could see the synergies between our business and Puratos’s – and our common determination to close the fiber gap. We both know that creating highly nutritious ingredients that taste great is the key to significant improvements in fiber consumption – and therefore benefitting public health on a huge scale. Now we’re excited about tapping into Puratos’s formulation expertise and getting our products into enticing ingredients that customers can leverage right away to offer powerful health benefits in foods that are already hugely popular all over the world.”

For more information on Puratos and its solutions, visit puratos.com. For further info on Puratos’s FoodTech Venture Arm Sparkalis, visit sparkalis.com.