The Ministry of Science and Innovation through the State Research Agency (AEI) selects and awards the FARO-i project for the search and validation of functional foods that help prevent childhood obesity, within the line of Public-Private Collaboration Projects, 2022 call, of the State Plan for Scientific, Technical and Innovation Research 2021-2023, in the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

The project, led by Fruselva, co-manufacturer of child food for major supermarket chains worldwide, also has the valuable participation of the Navarra StartUp Ingredalia, born from the agri-food sector of the Valle del Ebro and the Tecnalia Technology Center, specialized in the development and industrialization of high added value functional ingredients containing active compounds recovered from by-products of the food industry, the Department of Nutrition and Food Science and Gastronomy of the Food Campus of the University of Barcelona and the research group of Community Nutrition and Oxidative Stress of the University of the Balearic Islands.

FARO-i (Formulation of Foods for the Regulation of Childhood Obesity) will last three years with a budget of approximately 670k€ and aims to develop innovative foods for the prevention of childhood obesity; a public health problem that affects children around the world and that, according to data from the Ministry of Health, has a cost of more than 2,000M€ annually in our country.

The FARO-i project is an example of Multidisciplinary Public-Private collaboration between leading academic institutions, the Foodtech ecosystem and a leading industrial company in its sector. The University of Barcelona and the University of the Balearic Islands will provide their expertise in nutrition and health research and Ingredalia will provide its experience in industrialization and scaling, in addition to the formulation of foods of high nutritional value with a focus on improving the health of consumers through what is considered nutritional supplementation and the versatility and agility in the development that only a StartUp can bring to a consortium of these characteristics. Fruselva, as coordinator of the project, plays a key role in the future commercialization of the developed foods, with the intention of helping to reduce, in the medium and long term, the average Spanish health cost in childhood obesity and focusing on the need to channel investment in R+D+i of the Universities towards real products that impact on health and the market; in addition to positioning the Spanish food industry as a leader in the search for scientific solutions applied to food.

The FARO-i project is framed within the growing awareness of the importance of healthy eating from childhood and the long-term health benefits associated with it. The researchers and collaborators involved in FARO-i are determined and committed to contribute to the reduction of childhood obesity and to provide practical, effective and healthy solutions to families and health professionals.

The consortium will invest more than 670k€, of which the Ministry of Science and Innovation will subsidize 351k€, in addition to an additional 266k€ innovation loan from Next Generation EU Funds (NGEU).

For Fruselva, this project is strategic within its Innovation Plan 2022-2026, whose main lines of research are functional food, healthier diets and Plant Based products.

For the rest of the consortium, this project provides an incentive effect that allows them to dedicate resources they did not have to advance in their main and strategic lines of work, with special mention to the advances in the generation of clinical studies necessary for the industrialization of their ingredients for the StartUp Ingredalia.

Childhood obesity has reached alarming levels in the last decades and has become one of the main health concerns during childhood. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), already in 2016, it was estimated that there were approximately 41 million children under five years of age who were overweight worldwide. Furthermore, more than 340 million children and adolescents (aged 5-19 years) were estimated to be overweight or obese.

Some of the risks associated with obesity at an early age are type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and mental health problems. It is in this context that the FARO-i project becomes important, as it seeks to address this challenge in an effective and sustainable manner.

Research project reference CPP2022-009688 financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation through the State Agency for Innovation and by the European Union with Next Generation EU / PRTR funds.

Project coordinated by:

With the support of: