Insect-based food alternative wins Portuguese final of Empowering Women in Agrifood 2023

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Sara Martins, Carla Ramos and Ana Fernandes were on the podium of the 4th edition of the EIT Food programme

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Insect-based food alternatives, adoption of vineyards, and reuse of agrifood waste and by-products were the three winning ideas of the 4th edition of the Portuguese final of Empowering Women in Agrifood, the EIT Food programme, implemented in Portugal with the collaboration of UPTEC – Science and Technology Park of the U.Porto, and Portuguese Women in Tech (PWIT), and whose final took place this Wednesday, November 8th, at the HF Fénix Lisboa Hotel.

Portugal Bugs, by Sara Martins, intends to launch several insect-based food alternatives and won the first prize of €10,000. Protein bars, pasta, biscuits, hamburgers and other everyday food products are some of the products that Portugal Bugs will produce to replace less sustainable food alternatives, to slow down the consumption of natural resources, while providing consumers with high-quality protein foods.

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In second place, and with a prize of €5,000, was Real Vines, by Carla Ramos, which proposes the adoption of vineyards as a way to support the local economy, by hiring people to work in the vineyards and endogenous products, and then enjoy the unique experience of tasting your wine without the burden of owning the vineyard.

Closing the podium, and with the Visibility award, is Agrenatus by Ana Fernandes, which seeks to face the challenge of the lack of connection between agrifood waste producers and the stakeholders capable of transforming them into innovative, high value-added and sustainable products. This solution aims to prevent agrifood waste or by-products from ending up in landfills, establishing a bridge and offering the possibility of marketing agrifood waste and by-products.

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In addition to the distinctions achieved in the Portuguese final, the winners of this fourth edition guarantee the opportunity to compete in the European final at the EWA 2023 Summit, which will take place in Vilnius, Lithuania, on December 1st, 2023.

The Pitch Day, held at HF Fénix, in Lisbon, had a jury composed of Deolinda Silva (Portugal Foods), Mariana Fazenda (EIT Food), and Miguel Martins (3xP Global), who evaluated the ten proposals presented.

In addition to the three winners, entrepreneurs Cláudia Ferreira (Coaching 100k for Health) – helping 100,000 people in vulnerable situations to improve eating habits; Henriqueta Ramos (Flavorite) – optimizing the preparation of meals in restaurants; Marlene Machado (Snackisy) – creating healthy and easy-to-prepare snacks; Nabiha Ben Sedrine – collecting and reusing water from the air; Sara Leitão – creating small-scale smart urban farms; Liliana Correia (Germirrad) – developing a robot that will reduce the need for antibiotics in agriculture, and Sara Haribi – creating an indoor hydroponic system to grow food at home, participated in the contest.

November 10th 2023

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