New Food crowns its Apples Awards winners!

Posted: 20 October 2023 | | No comments yet

After day one of Food Integrity Global, New Food crowned its Apples Awards winners, commending them for the inspiring work they have been doing in the food sector.


The time has come to announce the winners of New Food’s Apple Awards! Announced on the evening of 17 October, five trailblazers from the food and beverage industry were presented with an award to recognise the hard work they have carried out in the last year which has made a real impact in the food and beverage sector. 

Carefully chosen by a team of expert judges from the food and beverage sector, the panel combed through the finalists for each of our five categories and came to a decision. Though it was tough to pick just one winner for each category, the judges’ decision was sealed in an envelope and presented live on stage at The Apples Awards ceremony at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington, London.

But who were the recipients of the awards?

Innovator of the year: Fresh Check

Our first winner was for “Innovator of the year” and taking the prize was Fresh Check, a company that uses its own unique biochemistry to detect bacterial and food debris contamination. The company took the prize for Innovator of the year for the excellent work they have been doing in the field of food safety.

The award for “Innovator of the year” was sponsored by TraceGains and on the evening the winner was announced by Richard Zaltzman, Chief Impact Officer at EIT Food and Dan McGlean, FreshCheck was commended for the work it has been doing in creating rapid testing technology that can identify bacteria contaminated surfaces in rapid speed.

Fresh Check took to social media to share its thoughts on the win, stating: “We are deeply honoured to have been named “Innovator of the year” at the inaugural Apples Awards.

“This recognition is particularly meaningful to us as it highlights the collective efforts of not just our team, but the broader food and beverage community in advancing safety, hygiene and innovation”.

Fresh Check went on to share:”This award affirms our commitment to providing rapid, reliable testing solutions and we pledge to continue driving advancements in food safety. Together, as an industry, we can make food safer, cleaner and more sustainable for everyone.”

Speaking to New Food’s Assistant Editor Grace Galler on the win, Alex Bond, Co-Founder and CEO of Fresh Check, said: “We are so delighted to have won New Food’s Innovator of the Year award. This recognition is particularly meaningful to us as it highlights the collective efforts of not just our team, but the broader food and beverage community in advancing safety, hygiene, and innovation. The award affirms our commitment to providing rapid, reliable testing solutions and we pledge to continue driving advancements in food safety.

“And another huge thanks to the fantastic F&B community who have always been open and collaborative as we’ve developed the technology. Keep your eyes peeled for new features and tech developments!”

Food and beverage manufacturer of the year: Nourished

Next we have the award winner for “Food and beverage manufacturer of the year”, sponsored by Merck. With so many exceptional manufacturers in our sector, the judges had a hard time scouting out the best of the best. However, the panel did come to a decision and allowed Andy Blackwell, Global Segment Strategy Lead for the Food and Beverage Segment at Merck, to announce Nourished as the winner for this category on the awards evening.

The Apples Awards: And the nominees are…

Nourished is start-up based in Birmingham founded by American entrepreneur Melissa Snover, and has revolutionised the personal nutrition market. In fact Nourished made history by developing the world’s first fully customised nutrient gummy.

Food scientists of the year: Akansha Prasad and Shadman Khan

Up next we have the winner for “Food scientist of the year”, sponsored by Syngenta. For this category, the judges were looking for individuals that had been making waves with their food related research.

To present the award, Sterling Crew, President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), took to the stage and names the winners as Akansha Prasad and Shadman Khan, who recently led a study to develop packaging which can indicate Salmonella contamination.

Both Prasad and Khan have been carrying out some excellent food related scientific research that certainly impressed our panel of expert judges.

Sustainable company of the year: Square Mile Farms

Onto the award for “Sustainable company of the year”, sponsored by Quor. For this category the judges were looking for a company that had been turning their attention to the planet and making changes to the way they operate in order to tackle climate change head on.

Announcing the winner on the night of the awards was Peter Jeanes, Director of Quor Systems. With the audience waiting with baited breath, James shared that company taking home the title was Square Mile Farms!

In the last year Square Mile Farms has been making a real impact all across London by installing indoor, vertical, hydroponic growing systems in urban buildings. Impressing both the expert panel of judges and those in the room, Square Mile Farms’ efforts in the way of sustainability have been making a real impact that New Food is excited to recognise with an Apple Award.

Lab of the year: LGC

The penultimate award was for “Lab of the year”, a category sponsored by Nemis. Unveiling the winner was Jackie Bowen, Executive Director of the Clean Label Project.

With several fantastic labs shortlisted for the award, the judging panel took time to consider their winner but taking the crown was the Food Authenticity Network at LGC. This is a lab based in the UK that has supported the Food Authenticity Network and has helped to keep our food supply safe and out of the hand of fraudsters. Of special note, LGC’s work was making a real impact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food defender of the year: Liljia Polo-Richards

Last but by no means least, was the winner for “Food defender of the year”, sponsored by Intertek Alchemy. While the industry working together is extremely important in making significant change it is important to recognise fantastic individuals that work tirelessly to better the sector.

On stage to reveal the winner for this category was Professor Chris Elliott, Professor of Food Safety at Queens’ University Belfast and New Food’s trusted food fraud expert who, in himself, serves as a real inspiration to many in the industry.

Elliot announced that the winner for this category was Liljia Polo Richards, Founder and CEO of Allergy Companions. Polo-Richards is someone that has who has developed tools to rank and review hospitality venues depending on how well they manage allergens. These tools are used by those living with food hypersensitivity to allow them to find trusted eating venues, as well as for businesses to understand how other companies are meeting the mark when it comes to allergen safety.

Sharing her excitement on social media, Polo-Richards said: “Whilst I am still pretty speechless, I cannot thank enough the judges that voted for me and all the people that support my work and mission.

“It’s amazing to be recognised for the work I do in the food allergy space and I am so excited to be involved in some exciting projects.”

Galler spoke to Polo-Richards after she received her award and was told: “Winning this award means a lot to me, both on a professional and personal level. My website started as a review platform to help the allergy community dine out with more confidence, and since our launch we’ve evolved into something even more valuable.

“I have developed a strong understanding of the challenges that the hospitality sector faces in this space, and I hold a very unique and valuable understanding of the customer perspective. This enables me to work with hospitality businesses and advise them on how to create and develop a culture where their staff not only understand the importance of catering for dietary restrictions, but also truly care. 

“I am passionate about bringing positive transformation to this space and changing the perception of allergies for both businesses and consumers.”

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