The progression of food farming is thanks to neuroscience
Supported by Importaco that has launched a line with natural probiotics obtained through nuts
"To predict the success of a product it is increasingly essential to start from the emotional reactions it arouses in the consumer". States Teresa Cercós Fortea, general manager of quality, environment and innovation of Importaco, a group based in Valencia founded in 1940 which presents two main sectors such as dried fruit and natural drinks. The concept was expressed during the two days of the World food innovate summit, a congress dedicated to food innovations that took place on June 14th and 15th in Milan.
“Today - online under Cercós Fortea - every food company finds itself operating in a highly competitive context: it must gain the trust of a consumer who is increasingly informed and aware of what he or she buys. To operate in this situation, we believe it is crucial to change the pattern with respect to the past, starting substantially from the end: the consumer himself. Or by acting on the emotions and reactions of the purchasing managers ".
In this context, neuroscience comes into play. Importaco, a group to which the Italian Besana has been a member since 2020, has invested 6 million euros in innovation: a part went to some investigations in the sphere of neuroscience in two main research branches:
the relationship between nut consumption and improving people's mental health;consumer interaction with the natural product, to ensure the highest standards of quality and food safety.“The processes in which Importaco applies neuroscience aim to improve food safety and product quality - emphasizes the manager-. The application of this process focuses on raw materials and natural products, with the aim of improving the sensory experience, without compromising the freedom of choice of the product ".
This intense research activity has already produced the first results. Indeed, Importaco has recently launched an innovative range of nuts enriched with natural probiotics derived from dried fruit. In fact, the Spaniard conducted an analysis of the native microbiota (i.e. the set of microorganisms that live in the digestive system of humans and other animals) and identified three probiotic bacteria of the Lactobacillus and Pediococuss genera present in dried fruit.
“These advances are part of the new deal that our group wanted to dare to research and food safety -explains Cercós Fortea-. Furthermore, they are fundamental for identifying innovative solutions, with a view to continually improving public and individual health ".
Meanwhile, Importaco continues to grow. The company, in 2021, achieved a turnover of 721.7 million euros, 9% more than in 2020, a result that shows the increase in the group's activity and the growing presence in European markets, which occurred following of the Besana acquisition in 2020.
Last year Importaco realized that they exceeded 19 million Euros, aimed at main investments in production centers: 60% of the resources went to quality, efficiency and specialization projects, 40% to commercial development, digital transformation, well-being in the workplace and sustainability.
In terms of sustainability, the Iberian company has certified its dried fruit plant according to the Aenor Zero Waste standard and has reduced industrial waste in this sector by 20%: the goal is to certify all the production centers of the group a this standard by 2025.
Not solo. 90% of the electricity consumed now is of renewable origin: this has made it possible to avoid the emission of 15,612 tons of CO2: through energy efficiency plans, consumption has been reduced by 12%.
EFA News - European Food Agency