Seeking non-thermal sterilization technologies

Posted by PepsiCoResponsive · Game Changer Technologies and Ideas · Deadline at 05/09/2018 · United States

Desired outcome

PepsiCo is seeking non-thermal sterilization technologies for the treatment of manufactured foods and beverages. Producing safe shelf stable food and beverages without high temperature treatment can improve the final product quality. PepsiCo will not compromise on our food safety requirements. Please see the tech request below for details.


Details of the Technology Call

As consumers desire reduced thermal treatment of their beverages and foods, PepsiCo seeks to identify technologies that can still achieve the required level of sterilization and safety without thermal inputs. Non-thermal sterilization technology increases shelf-life while creating foods and beverages with nearly the same taste, feel, appearance and nutritional profile of unsterilized, fresh foods and beverages. However, the technology often costs more to purchase and operate than thermal sterilization technologies. In addition, the shelf-life of non- thermally sterilized foods and beverages is less than similar heat-sterilized foods and beverages. Nevertheless, consumer demand for non-thermally sterilized foods and drinks is increasing. New technologies are needed to increase the shelf-life of non-thermally sterilized foods and beverages while decreasing the cost of acquisition and operation.

PepsiCo’s ultimate goal is to develop technologies that can produce sterilization kill rates equivalent to conventional thermal sterilization, but at room temperature. Current technology scouting has identified intriguing technologies in sterilization tolerant probiotics and aseptic filling with particulates (fruit, grains, probiotics, etc.). Furthermore, technologies capable of reduced time and/or temperature sterilization are also of interest. Additionally, technologies that can handle multi-phase products (liquid and solids) are of significant interest for applications across PepsiCo’s growing food and beverage portfolio.

The successful technology will:
• Sterilize finished packaged goods at a rate in excess of 400 packages/min.
• Fluid treatment rate 25-100 kL/hr)
• Continuous flow technologies are preferred over batch processing
• Achieve desired microbial kill without detriment to naturally present enzymes in the food or beverage.
• Sterilization must work for pH • Prefer to work for pH >4.6
• Materials/ingredients used preferred to be edible and characterized as edible and safe by authorized regulatory body
• For example, GRAS materials in the US; materials listed as safe to consume by EFSA or by Codex Alimentarius
• At a minimum the ingredients must be non-toxic Technologies to achieve lower cost aseptic filling are also of interest

Possible solution areas

  • Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:• In-package sterilization technologies• Non-thermal sterilization of product that is then aseptically filled

Previously attempted solutions (discarded)

PepsiCo has conducted extensive research into alternative sterilization technologies. The list below details some of the technologies that have been explored so far. Individual technologies that utilize only one form of sterilization from the list below should be avoided unless the inventor can offer a step-change in the existing technology to dramatically change its cost or performance.

  • High Pressure Processing (HPP)• Chemical treatments
  • Pulsed Light (PL) and Ultraviolet (UV) Light
  • Ultrasound
  • Ionizing Irradiation
  • Pulsed Electric Field
  • Electric Arc Discharges
  • Oscillating Magnetic Field
  • Enzymes
  • Bacteriocins and Antimicrobial Ingredients
  • Dense Phase Carbon Dioxide (DPCD)
  • Ozone/Cold Plasma

Related keywords

  • Electronics, Microelectronics
  • Electronic circuits, components and equipment
  • Process control and logistics
  • Materials Technology
  • Materials Handling Technology (solids, fluids, gases)
  • Sound Engineering/Technology
  • Medicine, Human Health
  • Technologies for the food industry
  • Food Packaging / Handling
  • Food Processing
  • Food Technology
  • Food quality and safety
  • Other electronics related equipment
  • Food and Beverages
  • Industrial Automation
  • Other industrial equipment and machinery
  • Packing products and systems
  • sterilization
  • paesturization

About PepsiCo

Large Enterprise from United States

PepsiCo is the #1 Food and Beverage company in North America. Our broad range of more than 3,000 delicious products offer consumers convenient and affordable options in nearly every country around the world. Globally our food and beverages are consumed nearly 1 billion times each day. Twenty-two of the brands in our portfolio generate more than $1 billion each in retail sales every year.

The PepsiCo Open Innovation team is the upstream, externally facing, department within PepsiCo Global R&D. We are actively scouting for, identifying, and developing strategic partnerships with external collaborators. Our ultimate goal is to locate key external insights, business models, and technical unlocks that, when partnered with PepsiCo’s robust internal R&D expertise, will yield disruptive innovation in our core products and/or new and emerging products/ markets.

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