2013 Fi South America: Seeing functional ingredients from another culture’s perspective

August 19th, 2013
Bioenergy Fi Chengzhi booth

Functional foods, beverages and nutritional supplements are pretty much mainstream here in the U.S. The exciting Bioenergy Ribose revolution is definitely gaining momentum. What’s happening in other parts of the world? The following is part of a staff report from Sao Paulo, site of 2013 Fi South America held earlier this month. It reveals some interesting perspectives.

About Fi South America

This event is the continent’s largest collection of ingredient, equipment, processing and packaging suppliers under one roof. It’s the only place in the South Western quadrant of the world where the latest global food trends and the products designed to meet them are on display.

The convention is important for professionals involved in food science and technology, and food and beverage manufacturing, and attracts myriad commodities traders from all corners of the world. This is the premier place in South America where accurate assessments of the industry can be gauged.

While in Sao Paulo, we observed that specialty supplements are becoming an everyday part of the upper-middle class lifestyle. Supplement shops and nutritional outlets are on every street corner. We fully anticipate that those retailers one day carry ribose and a host of products containing it.

Day One

Attendees explore exhibitors representing a range of companies from pharmaceuticals to commodities. After assessing the exhibitors, it’s clear that there is great potential for energy products. The overall standard of living in this part of the world is rather low. Higher quality food and life-quality supplementation are becoming more applicable. Our representatives were busy making several notable contacts.

Overall, the theme for the research presented during the show was specific to macromolecules in nutrition, caloric intake, microbiology in food testing, and public health.

Day 2

The pace of this show gave our team time to make each interaction more valuable. There is less market familiarity of ribose in South America, so many of our conversations were educational opportunities.

Day 3

More productive meetings were held, particularly with a German company specializing in functional beverage systems. Also, we’re excited to report that ribose clearly piqued the interest among the R&D professionals in attendance.

Technology Review: Nutrition Science

South America comprises approximately one-eighth of the earth’s land mass. This is land where poverty is unabated. Technological advances centered on reducing the growing number of poverty stricken urban enclaves, and dealing with myriad public health concerns. It should come as no surprise that cleanliness and sanitary places to prepare food — should one have it — are major concerns for the general population. Many of the seminars were designed to be public health updates for professionals ranging from those in food science academics to public healthcare professionals.

Just an observation about South American media

Unlike here in the U.S. where we get much of our news and information from the Internet, most Brazilians still rely heavily on traditional media. Reporters come directly to the source, and write/report it directly to constituency that night. Internet journalism – and blogs such as this one – are almost non-existent.


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