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Puratos has launched a start-up incubator to assist the development of products, services and ingredients in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors.

The global food tech venture, called Sparkalis, will focus on collaborations that would make baked goods healthier and more sustainable, the ingredients supplier said.

Direct investments will also be made for projects exploring plant-based products, fermentation, digitalisation, and manufacturing among others.

Expertise will be provided in product development, global scaling of market-ready solutions, support on regulatory requirements, and training opportunities.

A Puratos specialist will mentor each supported project and partners will also be given access to Puratos’ own Taste Tomorrow research programme, which provides insight into consumer behaviours in bakery, patisserie and chocolate.

“Sparkalis is looking for the future changemakers among start-ups in the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors,” said Sophie Blum, managing partner at Sparkalis and chief marketing officer at Puratos.

“Our team of global experts, each with their own professional background, is excited to transform their visions into successful business realities. This venture provides the perfect growing soil to discover the next big innovation in food while relying on Puratos’ century-long R&D, network and consumer understanding.”

Filip Arnaut, Sparkalis managing director and R&D director at Puratos, added: “Sparkalis was born out of a deep desire to support inspiring food tech pioneers and build success stories together. Sparkalis underscores Puratos’ continued commitment to driving innovation to create a healthier and more sustainable ‘foodprint’ around the world”.

Puratos began in a Belgian garage over 100 years ago with the ambition of simplifying the lives of bakers and confectioners.

In recent years has seen the development of projects including Bakeronline, a start-up that allows bakers to create free personalised web shops.