Fairs & Events

Estonia to Hold First-Ever Public Novel Food Tasting Featuring Innovations by ÄIO & Gelatex

Estonia’s governmental innovation lab, Accelerate Estonia, in collaboration with the novel food startups ÄIO and Gelatex, has announced Estonia’s first public novel food tasting and one of the first public tastings of novel foods across Europe. 

The event will feature dishes prepared by chef Johannes Hõimoja using novel food ingredients from ÄIO and Gelatex. It will take place on the 23rd of May during the region’s startup and tech event, Latitude59.  According to the announcement, participants will be informed about the product details, including the production process, ingredients, and allergens, and will be required to sign a consent form regarding the tasting.

Fats and nanofibers for food

ÄIO uses natural and precision fermentation to “brew” fats and oils using other industries’ side streams, such as sawdust. Its products can replace palm oil, coconut oil, and animal fats in food products.

“Tomorrow is an important day for novel food in Estonia and Europe”

Gelatex develops 3D scaffolding solutions for cultivated meat using an innovative technology called halospinning. Scaffolding enables the right texture and mouthfeel while allowing the creation of whole cuts.

“Tomorrow is an important day for novel food in Estonia and Europe. We are glad to be working with ÄIO and Accelerate Estonia to make the navigation in the regulatory labyrinth easier for companies in the novel food sector,” Gelatex shared on social media.

cultivated meat scaffolding
© Gelatex

A novel food hub in Estonia

Estonia aims to become a hub for novel food innovation by developing public sector expertise through the Centre of Estonian Rural Research and Knowledge. This initiative could bring healthier, sustainable food options to the public and establish a new industry in Estonia.

To help companies in the process, Accelerate Estonia has been working with ÄIO and Gelatex for the past year, running a pilot program with products from these companies to gather comprehensive knowledge from various case studies. According to the innovation lab, the information collected will help Estonian authorities gain expertise in novel food certification, potentially creating an AI-based support system.

In addition, creating the public sector’s “know-how” on novel food will bring multiple benefits: reducing reliance on private consultants, making market entry more accessible while ensuring food security and safety, and fostering food innovation — all goals of the Estonian government.

A cultivated chicken product
© Visualmind-stock.adobe.com

Straightforward and less risky

Accelerate Estonia argues that numerous companies in Estonia and worldwide are developing novel ingredients to replace agricultural commodities or animal proteins. However, bringing these products to the market in the EU can take 2 million euros and more than two years.

“Innovation in the food industry will take place somewhere else where the process is more straightforward and less risky for the novel food companies,” Accelerate Estonia shared.

The tasting and event will take place from 12:30 to 13:30 at the Latitude59 food court. Participants will need the Latitude59 ticket to enter.

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