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Transformative breakthroughs in food & beverage production have earned top industry recognition at the Gulfood Manufacturing Industry Excellence Awards 2018.

Future-thinking food industry innovators, covering the entire production value chain and encompassing health, safety, environmental awareness, ingredients and technological development, were picked out from the 1,600 exhibitors at Gulfood Manufacturing, the largest food and beverage forum for the processing and manufacturing sector in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, which runs at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) until Thursday night (November 8).

The awards, judged by an international panel of qualified experts, were presented to companies that demonstrated best practices, reflecting the distinct Gulfood Manufacturing sectors: Ingredients; Packaging, Processing; Manufacturing; Automation and Controls and Supply Chain Solutions.

Stepping up to the stage to collect the ‘Most Innovative Food Ingredient (General)’ was EMF Emirates LLC for the Callebaut Finest Belgian RUBY Chocolate RB1. EMF Emirates is a UAE-based subsidiary of EMF Middle East, the regional coordination office for the global chocolate company Barry Callebaut Group. After Dark, Milk and White, Ruby Chocolate is known as the 4th chocolate. The chocolate offers a whole new taste and experience from the ruby cocoa bean without the need to add additional colouring and fruit flavours.

“This award is tribute to the work of our team and Callebaut, the most innovative chocolate company in the world. This product is a totally new innovation. We’ve seen dark, white, milk. Now this is the fourth chocolate, with absolutely no flavouring, no colouring, it is all about the way the ruby coloured been is processed. The best part is, it’s 100 per cent sustainable,” said Pierre Feghali, General Manager of EMF Emirates.

With health and wellness continually featuring high on global F&B agenda, the judges faced a tough task in selecting the winner of the ‘Most Innovative Health Ingredient.’ The award went to Morinaga Nutritional Foods (Asia Pacific) for its Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum, while Handary SA, the shelf life specialists from Belgium, collected the award for ‘Top Food Safety Initiative/Technology’ for its Fixolor™ Malolactic Enzyme, a natural alternative to artificial colour stabilisers such as citric acid and nitrate. The Fixolor™ colour retention agent combine all-natural ranges of known ingredients to increase the color stability

The team from Handary SA was back on the stage to claim the ‘Top Packaging Innovation Award’ for its Antipack™ Bio-degradable Active Antifungal film, which helps to potentially triple shelf life, resulting in more efficient and productive operations for food producers, while meeting the needs of consumers for environmentally-friendly packaging.

“These awards show that we are on the right track with our innovations and show these products are really needed.  The Fixolor answers the needs of consumers who want to stop using nitrate and this recognition shows our packaging is important – manufacturers need it, consumers need it. It is bio-degradable and good for the environment,” said Fernando Plaza, Sales Manager, at Handary SA.

The judges also recognized innovation in processing with Bio World General Trading collecting the honours for ‘Most Innovative Processing Solution’ for its yoghurt-based products, which prolong the shelf-life of living food products, while the ‘Top Futuristic Technology Future in Focus’ Award was taken by DC Norris & Company Ltd with the Multi In-Line Jet Cook Steam Infusion System.

“It’s quite amazing to the win this award, which underlines our commitment to product development. I think we were chosen for the award because our products cover everything the judges were looking for, from health and nutritional improvement to sustainability,” said Stoyan Nikolov, General Manager, Bio World General Trading. “Winning this award puts us out there and will help us take this into the market.”

With manufacturers keen to reduce their environmental impact under the watchful gaze of more eco-conscious and provenance-aware consumers, the Gulfood Manufacturing Industry Excellence Awards also presented an ‘Environmental Award of The Year’ honour to Dubai-based SIG Combibloc Obeikan for its Signature Pack, the world’s first aseptic pack 100% linked to plant-based renewable material.

Gulfood Manufacturing 2018 is open from 10 am – 6 pm on 7 November and 10 am – 5 pm on 8 November. The show is only open to food and beverage industry professionals and visitor attendance is free of charge. For more information, visit http://www.gulfoodmanufacturing.com

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