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Innovation continues to thrive in the Welsh food and drink industry

Welsh food and drink companies are proving that innovation is still high on the agenda as they prepare to attend an exhibition in London dedicated to food, health and nutrition.

Fifteen Welsh companies will be present at Food Matters Live next week (21-23 November) at ExCeL in London under the Welsh Government’s Cymru/Wales banner, all looking to showcase new products and latest developments in the food and drink industry.

Curapel is a skin healthcare company based at the Life Sciences Hub Wales in Cardiff developing innovative treatments for eczema and psoriasis as well as skin pigmentation conditions. All their products are formulated with safe, natural and GRAS-designated actives.

At the event, Curapel will unveil their new product Pellamex, a daily food supplement for dry and eczema prone skin that strengthens the skin’s barrier from within to help keep out external allergens and irritants that exacerbate the condition. The skin food supplement effectively ‘feeds’ the skin’s own natural barrier formation biology with the building blocks it needs and at the same time moisturises from within which will also benefit those whose skin is increasingly fragile and dry due to ageing.

Commenting on this exciting product, Dr Peter Luebcke, Curapel’s Chief Executive said,

“The team at Curapel is really excited about being able to offer Pellamex as a ground-breaking and effective way to help people manage their dry, sensitive and eczema prone skin as well as to those who simply want greater resilience and vitality for their skin.

“Our patented active ingredient has already been clinically tested in eczema with excellent results. Because of the way it works the product would also benefit anyone that is keen to maintain a resilient and moisturised skin barrier.”

Curapel is among fifteen Welsh food and drink companies coming together for the fourth Food Matters Live all looking to showcase how Wales is growing in confidence when it comes to innovation  of new products that appeal to an ever increasing health conscience society.

Another company looking to use Food Matters Live as a platform for showcasing their health food product brand ‘Neovite’ is Golden Dairy. Neovite is a spray-dried organic colostrum first milk powder from pasture fed cows, a product ideal for immune boost, athletic performance and digestive conditions. Colostrum has been used to maintain health and fitness by top athletes like the British Lions Rugby Team, Olympic medallists, Premiership football players and world record breakers.

Golden Dairy based in Bethesda, Pembrokeshire is the first plant in the UK to produce this valuable food, and Company Director John Rolfs said,

“Locating the production of Neovite in west Wales means that we can offer the best possible product from pasture fed herds and provide additional income for the dairy farmers locally.

Colostrum has been shown to have extensive digestive and immune boosting properties. We have conducted a number of studies with Aberystwyth University Sports Science Department on Neovite which show improvements in gut barrier function during heat stress and reduced incidence and severity of respiratory infections especially during winter months. We are currently looking into research into the benefits of taking Neovite for diabetics and in 2018 we will be investigating Crohn’s disease in adolescents in a large scale study funded by the NHS.”

The good news continues for Snowdonia inspired snack brand Wild Trail, based in Tywyn, north west Wales, as they expand their healthier snack bar range with a new Carrot Cake flavour. The tasty fruit, vegetable and nut bar is the fourth bar in the range and continues Wild Trail’s trend of using just five simple ingredients to create natural, balanced but indulgent tasting snacks.

Robin Williams, Wild Trail CEO, said “We’re delighted to add a fourth bar to the Wild Trail range with our new Carrot Cake flavour. We recognise that people want natural, clean label products with no artificial ingredients or added sugar but also don’t want to compromise on taste and texture. We’re proud to have created such an indulgent-tasting snack using only five simple ingredients that will appeal to the modern consumer.”

Speaking ahead of Food Matters Live, the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said,

“Innovation is one of the key drivers for economic growth in the food and drink sector. We as a Government, will continue to support the role food innovation can play in contributing health and wellbeing whilst, at the same time, demonstrate Wales is at the forefront of innovation, cutting edge technology and quality produce.”

Fifteen Welsh companies will be present at Food Matters Live this year under the Welsh Government’s Cymru/Wales banner representing products that range from soya protein based foods, oven baked savoury meat snacks to gluten free cakes and vegetarian Indian snacks.

Food Matters Live is the UK’s only cross-sector event bringing together the food and drink industry, retailers, foodservice providers, government and those working in nutrition, to enable collaboration and innovation to support a sustainable food landscape for the future.

The Welsh Government are currently offering support Welsh companies looking to focus on innovation through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), is about connecting public sector challenges with innovative ideas from industry. The SBRI competition which is open to five Welsh businesses has the brief ‘How can we improve the nutritional composition of food and drink for children whilst driving down cost? There will be two overall winners.

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