SWITZERLAND – World food companies Givaudan, Nestle and Buhler have launched the Future Food Initiative to accelerate research in the development of on-trend, nutritious and sustainable food products.

The co-founders will promote joint research in collaboration with Swiss universities in a bid to develop sustainable food as well as packaging solutions in the food and beverage industry.

The initiative brings together research capabilities of institutions such as ETH Zurich and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), which are all leaders in nutritional science and food technology.

According to the founding organisations, the goal of the initiative is to enhance food and nutrition research in regard to changing consumer trends and sustainability initiatives around the world.

The program includes a postdoctoral fellowship program to promote young scientists with research projects focusing on plant-based nutrition and ancient plant varieties.

“We are stepping up as an industry to address challenges in the food value chain.

“Buhler’s ambition is to create innovative and sustainable solutions, partnering with leading research institutes, industrial partners, and promising start-ups in the world of food,” said Stefan Schreiber, CEO of the Buhler Group.

Nestlé chief technology officer, Stefan Palzer said: “We accelerate innovation in collaboration with a variety of external partners, including world-class academia, globally leading suppliers and creative start-ups across the world.

“To address open scientific questions and challenges related to food trends and sustainable nutrition is key for us as we create tasty and nutritious food for all age groups.

“As one of the initiators of this important Swiss research initiative, we reaffirm our commitment to further strengthen the unique Swiss research ecosystem for food and nutrition research.”

The partners have invested US$4.1 million (CHF 4.1 million) in the initiative.

Generally, Future Food Initiative has a mandate to develop healthy food products, intensify the search for solutions for sustainable, plastic-free packaging, and to secure access to affordable nutrition.

In regard to this, Buhler has said that it will officially open its CUBIC innovation campus in spring and will work together with innovation partners, customers, start-ups and academics to benefit from the new facilities.

“The goals of the initiative align perfectly with our ambition of addressing global challenges of hunger and malnutrition.

I would like to thank the ETH Zürich and EPFL for initiating this joint platform.

“We are looking forward to bring on board additional partners into this initiative in the coming years.

The initiative will help make Switzerland a global lighthouse for innovation across the food value chain,” said Ian Roberts, chief technology officer of the Buhler Group.