4 transformative food tech innovations to watch in 2024: an update from Bilbao  

Food4Future event venue with 'an update from Bilbao' overlaid text

Food tech has the potential to revolutionise the way we produce and consume food. Through innovation, data and insights, and out-of-the-box thinking, we can help to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis from the ground up.  

To understand more about this potential and to meet with the agrifood businesses and entrepreneurs who are already scaling these tech solutions, the Greenhouse team visited the Food4Future Expo in Bilbao, Spain. The Expo celebrated the Foodtech 6.0 revolution with “Automation, sustainability and digitalisation” as the core focus areas.  

From food waste and agriculture to plant-based food and robotics, we were lucky to meet with entrepreneurs innovating in sectors across the entire food system. Here we have spotlighted four of our favourites from the event: 

1. Oh! Greens

Oh! Greens is a startup on a mission to put food waste in the past. As cited by CEO Nacho Domenech Oliva at the event, we are wasting up to 75% of vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. The reason? Cosmetics standards.  

Despite the commonality of using and consuming only the flower of these vegetables, Nacho explained that the entire vegetable is not only edible but also equally nutritional and tasty. With this knowledge in his toolbox, Nacho and his team set out to create a series of products that celebrate and optimise the use of whole vegetables including soups, guacamole and hummus, and is working to put more of his sustainable products across markets in Europe.  

2. Isauki

Not sure about seafood? Worried about the environmental impact of fishing? Allergic to fish? Look no further.  

Isauki are a Spanish-based startup combining the beauty of seafood with the power of plant-based. The business believes that seafood does not need to be damaging to the planet, and the taste, textures and flavours of the ocean can still be achieved using sustainable and healthy alternatives.  

From algae to pea, the entrepreneurs at Isauki are exploring how different protein sources can achieve the same impact, and are already serving up prawns, squid and eel products made entirely from plants.   

3. Aponic International

Farming is one of the food sectors’ greatest opportunities to reduce emissions, mitigate negative impacts, and regenerate our landscapes. But transforming the way we farm is not easy; it requires patience, investment and innovation.  

One innovator who is contributing to this mission is Jason Hawkins-Row. Heading up UK based startup Aponic International, Jason and his team are working to bring farming closer to home. Through vertical systems that use a fine mist of water and nutrients to nourish the roots of plants, the solution allows producers to grow more food in less space, using 95% less water and 30% less fertilizer than conventional farming.  

Jason also explained that the system is entirely adaptable to any climate and location, making it possible to grow fresh, healthy, and delicious food all year round, anywhere in the world.  

4. Cocuus

Cocuus is a startup with a difference. With technology at their core, Cocuus is developing solutions for the production of animal, plant and cellular protein analogues using 2D and 3D laser bioprinting methods.  

The printing technology is being applied to various areas of food production including the reuse and recycling of surplus meat production, the development of new vegan products, research into the manufacturing of biocultured cells, and the production of novel products that mimic the taste, texture and nutritional value of conventional animal-based foods.  

Whether it be food waste, farming or fishing, food tech is one of our greatest opportunities to drive positive change in food at scale.  

If you are working on a food tech solution that is contributing to the mitigation of the climate crisis, we’d love to hear from you!