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10 agrifood startups to watch in 2024

Testing honey quality with AI, regenerating soils at speed, and ultra-realistic plant-based fish reaches consumers. These are among innovations exciting the market, supported through EIT Food entrepreneurship programmes

25 Mar 2024

2024 is set to be another exciting year in the agrifood innovation space. Startups continue to play a crucial role in reshaping the European food system. In the face of complex interconnected challenges, the need for new products and solutions is greater than ever.

EIT Food supports individuals and teams throughout the innovation process. Researchers, entrepreneurs and impactful AgriFoodTech startups can receive support through EIT Food’s dedicated Entrepreneurship programmes:


Participants gain expertise, networking, financial opportunities, and access to the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation community.

These 10 exciting startups – all from the EIT Food ecosystem – are already reaching customers and selling their products. They all look set to enjoy further success in 2024 with products and services that can benefit people and the planet.


AI-powered honey analysis

One startup creating a buzz is Microfy.Ai, which produces AI-powered microscopes for assessing the quality of honey. The technology can produce fast results in situ by honey producers, who currently rely on external labs which use a variety of methods that can be hard to reproduce.

In 2023, the first microscope ‘Honey.AI’ was launched to market and the company already has customers across 9 countries, including the Spanish government. Based in Barcelona, Microfy.Ai has received extensive media coverage and was a recipient of the 2023 CERES awards hosted by EIT Food South.

Microfy.Ai is now developing a tool capable of detecting a specific disease in beehives, which can help beekeepers to reduce bee mortality rates. The company is also developing prototypes for applying the technology to other applications – such as monitoring yeast and fungi growth.


Carbon footprint calculator that makes sense

With consumer concerns around greenwashing on the rise, it is important for companies to accurately define and communicate their environmental impacts. Helsinki-based startup Biocode has developed a carbon footprint calculator for food brands, producers and farmers for enhancing transparency in food production.

Such tools can inform companies to make climate-friendly decisions. They also help organisaitons prepare for new regulation, such as the EU’s proposed law on Green Claims and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.

At the end of 2023, Biocode launched its corporate emissions calculator, which expands its offering to Scope 1–3 Greenhouse Gas emissions accounting. This builds on their existing food product Life Cycle Assessment tool and Primary Production Carbon Footprint calculator.

Kern Tec

Upcycling neglected stone fruit pits

Tackling food loss and waste is critical to food security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the food sector. One way is to create nutritious food from sidestreams that currently go to waste. An inspiring example is Kern Tec, which produces high-quality oils and protein from seeds within neglected stone fruit pits – namely apricot, plum and cherry.

Founded in 2019, the Austrian scaleup made a key breakthrough: they found an economically viable solution for processing fruit pits. Most challenging is the fact that hydrocyanic acid contained in the seeds makes the raw material toxic. Kern Tec has developed proprietary processing steps for splitting, sorting and detoxifying the seeds. The seeds are then turned into a base for alternative dairy products.

Kern Tec has already launched plant-based alternatives for milk and cheese, fine oils and spreads on the Austrian market with its B2C brand "Wunderkern". And the company has signed purchase orders for its ingredients worth millions of euros in revenues. Among them is German dairy giant Bauer, which just launched a new plant-based line based on fruit seeds with 8 different products.


Natural truffle flavor concentrates

Truffles offer an earthy, musky taste sensation that can last in the memory. Unfortunately, truffles only grow at limited times of year in highly specific environmental conditions. These factors contribute to their status as a delicacy commanding high prices. Synthetic truffle flavourings are available but their similarity to the real thing is variable.

Swiss startup Nectariss has developed a way of offering authentic truffle flavours all year round. In 2014, truffle researcher and Nectariss CEO Richard Splivallo discovered that microorganisms inside truffle fungi were responsible for producing truffle aroma. Splivallo created the Nectariss MethodTM, an innovative and patented fermentation process to produce small artisanal batches of truffle oils made with real truffle fungi.

Nectariss operates through a B2B model, selling its truffle flavours to food manufacturers across 6 countries. Producers take the Nectariss flavours and integrate them into oils, nuts and pastes among other products. Nectariss’ has recently reformulated all its products to get rid of the allergen lactose, and its latest product is a natural white truffle flavour.

Revo Foods

Next generation plant-based seafood

When Revo Foods released “THE FILET - Inspired by Salmon” at the Austrian supermarket REWE in September 2023, the first batch sold out within 24 hours. It was the world’s first 3D printed food product in supermarkets – a vegan salmon filet alternative made of fungi protein.

Since launch, THE FILET has gained significant media attention, being featured in more than 1,000 news articles worldwide. Revo Foods products, which also include fish-inspired vegan spreads, are now available across 20 European countries. And the company has built a strong network of distribution partners. There is more to come from Revo Foods with their plant-based, 3D printed vegan octopus ‘The Kraken’ hitting the markets soon.

In response to growing demand, Revo Foods has initiated its first public investment campaign, where people can invest in the company's next major upscaling phase and acquire shares. Investments are possible January 18–April 18, 2024, via the Germany-based green-tech investment platform FunderNation. The ongoing crowdfunding campaign has already brought in €1.1M of its maximum €1.5 target.

GeoPard Tech

An unbiased cloud-based Analytics Powerhouse for precision agriculture

Precision agriculture is a great opportunity for farms to adapt to sustainability challenges and become more efficient. But introducing any new tech or process is not without its economic risks. To help farms mitigate these risks, GeoPard Tech created a cloud-based analytics platform – helping users exploit the opportunities of digital farming, agronomy, and precision farming practices.

Since GeoPard formed in 2019, the German startup has partnered with several leading agricultural firms, including John Deere and Corteva. In 2023, GeoPard launched the service ‘Visualizing the economics of regenerative agriculture’ to model the environmental and economic impacts of strip intercropping.

Geopard is now working with Indigo Ag to deliver sustainability solutions to farmers and agribusinesses globally through carbon and biological programmes. That includes analysing how different application rates, sustainable farming practices, and Indigo Ag’s range of biological products influence yield outcomes.


Regenerating soils at speed through natural processes

Healthy soils are essential for agriculture and maintaining biodiversity, but 61% of EU soils are in a degraded state. The challenge is that new soil takes centuries to form. Minerals and rocks are broken down through microbiotic weathering releasing vital nutrients for plants.

Ekolive has developed a patented eco-bioleaching that replicates the natural process of soil formation within just a few days. With facilities in Slovakia and Germany, the scaleup brings the availability of natural resources, regenerative agriculture, climate and nature conservation into harmony.

The techniques have been developed by scientists over the past 35 years for processing waste and low-grade minerals. Ekolive is adapting them to a new generation of bio|me|stimulants for organic farming. Plants are stimulated using billions of trained probiotics and plant growth-promoting bacteria that regenerate the soil microbiome.

For farmers and the food industry, Ekolive offers a low-cost, ecological solution that secures harvests and yields. Ekolive is expanding globally, negotiating three new bioleaching operations outside of Europe. It is entering African and Latin American markets based on the agricultural results of food companies and eco-foundations.


Healthier oceans and a mouth-watering, plant-based future

Another scaleup making a splash in the protein diversification space is Bettaf!sh. Its product ‘TU-NAH Can’ hit shops in 2023. It looks like tuna, tastes like tuna, but there’s a twist: it’s made from seaweed and fava beans. The product is shelf-stable for 12 months and has a rich nutritional profile at an affordable price.

On its website, Bettaf!sh outlines its mission to help conserve the oceans. Sales to date have spared 134 tonnes of tuna fish and 136 tonnes of bycatch, and the Berlin-based company is committed to generating sustainable economic opportunities for coastal communities in Europe.

Steering the Bettaf!sh ship is founder and CEO Deniz Ficicioglu who is among the finalists for the 2024 European Prize for Women Innovators. With Bettaf!sh already offering 10 products across central and southern Europe, don’t be surprised if they appear in a supermarket near you soon.

The Very Food

Replacing egg & milk and their functionality

Eggs and milk not only provide flavour; they also give food structure, texture and colour. The Very Food is on a mission to offer plant-based alternatives without compromising on functionality and taste.

In 2023, the French startup launched VERY AQUAFABA a natural, allergen-free, plant-based solution to replace egg whites. With the same foaming and emulsifying properties as egg white, the product is ideal for desserts such as mousse, meringue and dacquoise. It comes with a shelf-life of 15 months before opening and without the drawbacks of allergens, dietary restrictions and health risks associated with egg products.

The Very Food’s customers include food manufacturers, food service companies, bakery and pastry professionals, and bars and hotels. The story of how co-founders Arnaud Delacour and Oscar Castellani came to launch The Very Food is told through this entertaining comic strip.

Vini Mini

Baby food supplements to reduce the risk of a food allergy

Vini Mini is another startup with a personal story at its core. The son of one of the co-founders has a severe egg allergy, and after investigations he was also found to be developing allergies to peanuts and nuts. Thanks to the early and frequent introduction of peanuts and nuts, he ultimately did not develop these allergies.

Indeed, there is increasing evidence that gradual exposure to peanuts from an early age during infancy can reduce the risk of allergy. The Netherlands-based startup Vini Mini develops nutritional products and supplements that can be given to babies to expose them to allergens in a healthy, simple and safe manner.

The team is on a mission to put this science into practice, to catch allergy signs early and reduce overall prevalence and become a leading player in preventive pediatrc healthcare. The team has already developed peanut, hazelnut, cashew nut and walnut starter kits, as well as follow-up kits and snacks tailored to the risk profile of babies.

‘My First Peanut’ for example is a starterkit to test whether a baby is allergic in 3 or 6 steps, where dosages are low, easy to stir in the baby’s food, and free of additives. Since launch, the startup has helped over 5,000 parents and the potential market is vast. Currently 1 out of 4 children in Europe have a food allergy.