TechConnect Ventures

Sprint Challenge Brief:

Innovations For Fat Reduction In Crackers

Submissions Closed
Mondelez International

Mondelez, the global food and snack company, is exploring ingredient and processing innovations to reduce total fat content in their cracker recipes. Mondelez is open to all relevant technologies with a viable pathway to commercialization.


To offer consumers low fat snack options & aligned with their mindful snacking strategy, Mondelez brands are on a path to continuously optimize and improve recipes. They are on the lookout for solutions to reduce total fat in their cracker product portfolio. This drive, however, can have negative impacts on consumer enjoyment if the sensorial profile of the product changes. To that end, Mondelez wishes to identify new ingredients or processing methods to reduce fat in their multiple cracker product lines without affecting consumer perceptions.

For the crackers in scope, palm oil is the primary source of fats in the recipes. By weight, fats and oils normally represent around 22 to 28% of cracker formulations, split between the dough and topping oil. The oil used to adhere salt or other seasonings is responsible for roughly 2/3 of the total fat content with fats in the dough comprising the remainder. Mondelez would like to reduce the total combined amount of fats to below 20% by weight.

Mondelez is open to processing equipment changes or novel ingredient solutions. All proposed approaches must produce crackers with sensory parameters (e.g. taste, texture, and moisture) similar to conventional products.

Ingredient approaches:

  • Utilized either in dough or as topping
    • Approaches applicable to both strongly preferred
  • Clean label and sustainable solutions strongly preferred
  • Whole food ingredients potentially of interest provided there is no impact on existing flavor profile
  • Must be applicable to crackers; approaches only applicable to other products, such as breads or cookies, are out of scope

Processing approaches:

  • Dispense and/or target surface area of the cracker (roughly 2 square inches on each side), suitable for a wide variety of topping oils of differing viscosities
  • Keep processing line cool to prevent fats and oils from melting out of the product
  • Innovative mixing action capable of handling doughs with reduced fat content

Approaches of all technical maturities are of interest provided a viable pathway to commercialization exists. Ideally, proposed solutions will be ready for pilot scale testing by Q3 2024. Furthermore, Mondelez is open to all potential collaboration possibilities and welcomes submissions from all interested respondents including academics, startups, and established commercial enterprises.

The goal of this sprint is to facilitate contact and interactions between the Sprint sponsor and commercial entities (including Start-ups), technology developers or research organization/university in this space.


Solvers submitting an Entry are encouraged to highlight capabilities in their Submission that meet criteria including:

  • Description of proposed approach: ingredient or processing
  • Anticipated fat reduction compared to existing approaches
    • In dough
    • On top
  • Anticipated impact on sensory profile
  • Sustainability information (if applicable)
  • Commercialization timeline
  • Technical maturity

Business Opportunity for Solvers

All complete and eligible Entries will be included in an exclusive Innovation Opportunity Report that will be presented to our client. Solvers with well-matched capabilities may be contacted directly by either TechConnect Ventures or the client to discuss potential partnership opportunities, including – but not limited to – demonstrations, consulting, contract research, licensing, and more. Top-rated Entries may also be invited to register or participate in an upcoming TechConnect Ventures event or pitch program.

Participation Rules & Guidelines

Solvers are encouraged to review the Rules and Guidelines provided on the Sprint page for details about participation, including submission criteria, eligibility information, and more.

Download Challenge Brief