Leveraging technologies to create the future of food - Bilbao

May 25, 2022 10:41am



Here is our founder and CEO, Mariette Abrahams talking about leveraging technologies to get up close and personalized to create products that promote health and this is specifically aimed at food and beverage companies. 

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As the global population grows and ages, we need to urgently review and shift how we produce food and take a good look at our food supply chain. Our staples come from a very narrow range of foods and our health is suffering. In this presentation we explain why we need to change now.

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Food 4 future event Bilbao Spain 17-19 May 2022

Hi, this is Mariette Abrahams CEO and founder of Qina and today I'll be talking about leveraging technologies to get up close and personalized to create products that promote health and this is specifically aimed at food and beverage companies. According to a recent study, our food choices can add up to 8 to 13 years to our life. This of course depends on what we put into our mouths and the choices that we make in terms of the foods and the products that we consume on a daily basis. This just highlights that food has a huge impact on our health and our health span and of course also on our life span. Unfortunately, we do live in a world where malnutrition and obesity coexist. It's known that around 45% of deaths among children under five are linked to undernutrition, and these mostly occur in low and middle income countries whilst at the same time in the same countries, the rates of childhood obesity is increasing. This is really astonishing.

The other problem that we have, is that our diets tend to be very un-diverse. We eat the same foods and the same meals over and over again and whilst we have a huge amount of food waste globally. At the moment there are so many grains staple foods that we don't eat that we don't consume that we don't get exposed to. That really can impact not only our health but also the environment. It's there.

More important that we increase and encourage the diversity of our food. At Qina, we believe that the future of health is personalized nutrition. So what is personalized Nutrition? Well personalized nutrition uses individual specific information. Founded in the Evidence Base science to promote dietary behavior change that may result in measurable health benefits and this is really important and sets the scene for where personalized nutrition is heading.

So personalized nutrition is really exciting because it's really sits at the intersection of health of food, of technology and also of society and we are really entering this new era of health and food and technology that really determines what the future will look like. Of course, personalized nutrition really follows the trend that we see in personalized healthcare and nutrition is therefore a core component of achieving optimal health. Now personalized nutrition, as I mentioned already, is really dependent on data that is shared by the user. This data can be from a questionnaire. It can be from smartwatches. It can from sensors, devices, wearables.

And therefore all of these sources can then help to personalise dietary recommendations and advice, to help the the user towards achieving their health goals and towards living a healthier lifestyle. Of course. The reality is, is that personalized nutrition is generally seen as something that is going to happen in 10 to 20 years time, but it's already happening and it's happening because consumers are taking charge of their health. They are interested in nutrition topics and they are starting to connect the dots between what we put into our bodies and how that impacts our health and so personalized nutrition is already here. Not so much at the higher levels of personalization where consumers are looking.

To use these wearables and maybe devices to understand specifically how their bodies are responding. But they are starting to look at how the food is made, what ingredients are in their products, and therefore how how the ingredients within that food impact their health. The problem is is that consumers are very, very frustrated and irritated. They find conflicting information. Online they don't know who to follow or take advice from in terms of the information that they find, and they are increasingly less trusting of not only food brands but also science.

And So what are consumers looking for in terms of their food products? Well, we know from many, many consumer studies that consumers are now looking for their products to include healthy and natural ingredients. They are looking for ingredients that come from sustainable source. They also want the ingredients to be more than just food. It should have a health benefit as well, and so that's where the food as medicine approach comes in. But also they're looking for.

Brands and companies that they can trust that have a transparent food supply or food chain and therefore they can therefore more likely to buy these products. So what is Qina? Qina is a platform that helps companies to explore, get insights and launch in personalized nutrition. Now we work all the way from prevention to medical nutrition through a global network of experts that specialize in nutrition, and we also pull in different domain experts for different projects. Our mission is really very much aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. We've got five of the key goals listed at the bottom of the slide, and therefore we really want to make a difference in terms of impact on the next generation of nutrition and health.

Solutions that are available and made available to everybody. We leverage not only domain expertise, but technologies to help companies to create the next generations of solutions that are accessible that are affordable that are nutritious and that have a health impact. And we do this in a very, very specific way. As I said, we combine our domain expertise in nutrition together with technologies. We combine that with current market data, consumer trends, advances in science and innovation and also input from frontline healthcare practitioners who really are very, very close to the end user and who usually get the questions about which products to use, which solutions to integrate and what to do to improve their health. We blend these and have come up with four different.

Products or solutions for companies. The first one is Qinahub, QinaVer, QinaFML, and also Qina score. The first product is the Qina hub. This is the first curated database of personalized nutrition solutions in the industry. Here we have over 500 companies listed in our database, which you can search by technology by business, model, by segment, and various other filters. And we also have a library of specific content that is very, very relevant to the personalized nutrition industry.

The second solution is QinaVer. QinaVer uses natural language processing to identify sentiment, topics and word associations in unstructured data. Here what we can do is identify consumer behavior, understand consumer perception, and really identify what needs to happen to create the next generation of solutions. This means that you can be very close to the consumer, close to the real world, and really make sure that your failure rate is. This is means that you can be very close to the consumer to understand what their current problems are and how they are solving it at the moment. In this solution we save a lot of time by not only analyzing what consumers are saying online, we can also analyze data such as documents such as focus groups such as product reviews for example, and layer that with scientific expertise to understand really what not.

I mean what is happening but also why it is happening. Our next solution is our QinaFML, which stands for formulate which is a smart ingredient recommendation tool which helps to really combine these previous problems that I mentioned before is that we can recommend using AI machine learning to match ingredients together with the health goal to the target population, ie where the product is going to be consumed. We also look at which that sustainability, so which ingredients are actually grown locally? So really focus on local. Production and supporting the local economy but also inclusion. What foods are eaten and consumed and grown locally that can be used in formulations and also efficacy? Which products or ingredients really have health impact and in what dosage so that we can actually match the claim or the health goal with the ingredients within the specific solution?

So with this, we've recently partnered with Blend Hub as an ecosystem partner to offer food as a service. So Qinaa has a key role to play within this ecosystem to provide the nutrition expertise and we do this in a variety of ways using our solutions together with our consultancy services. So in the first step, as you see in this diagram, we really want to understand the consumer. So who is your client trying to target what is there? The health goal? What are the beliefs and values and attributes that consumers are expecting in the specific solution? We then use the Qina hub to really understand the market within personalized nutrition. What is at market size? Especially looking at the segment? What is the need? What does the competitive landscape look like? And also what are the scientific advances?

Especially in that particular area for that specific health goal. We then use QinaVer to really deep dive into what are the white spaces, the topics, the keywords, the themes that are really very important within that health goal. We can conduct sentiment analysis to understand what consumers think about a particular ingredient about a particular theme or topic, and we also can understand the consumer insights in terms of their behavior, what they are currently doing, and how they are. solving their problems. Currently we can also conduct mixed methodology research by sending out surveys, but also conducting interviews to really, really get a 360 degree diverse perspective on really what the consumer wants and create that consumer profile and then we can also do topic modeling to understand if topics continuously appear or continuously appear in combination with another topic as well.

So this is really interesting because health is complex and consumers use different approaches to address their problems. But many times they also expect their ingredients to be multifunctional. And so if we can identify what those specific topics are, then that would make for a better positioning as well. After we've understood the customer profile as well as the market as well as the local beliefs and perceptions and attitudes, we can then use QinaFML to recommend a list of ingredients with associated claims. We can include biometric data, for example. We can also recommend enhancements to increase bioavailability, for example, and we also provide warnings that may be presented as education.

For example, and then of course we provide knowledge and support not only in terms of nutrition profiling. We can also recommend improvements to a recipe we can identify or calculate what the return of investment is specifically for addressing health concerns or or or conditions. We can also, with our Qinahub, identify ecosystem partners to help to position your product or ingredient as a personalized news nutrition solution. And we can also develop a resources that go along with the product as well. So with that.

Personalized nutrition is not just a trend, it really is the future of health and it's up to you to create it today. Please contact us at qina.tech and we can discuss your project or your plans to create the next personalized nutrition solution that has a health impact and can be available to all. Thank you.

Qina is the hub for data and insights in Personalised nutrition. Qina offers the world´s first comprehensive and curated database of Personalised nutrition companies in the industry. Qina has a library of expert content and offers consultancy services for innovation projects.