New Halo/PepsiCo RFP: Removing Organics From Coconut Water to Improve Flavour

Proposals are invited for a six-month proof of concept project to improve the flavour and aroma of coconut water by removing organic compounds.

Halo is an innovation funding platform that enables companies with a research need to form collaborations with researchers and scientists from academia and industry.

Sponsor companies post Requests for Proposals (RFPs) on Halo and invite researchers based at organisations from anywhere in the world to submit a proposal to address the specific technical requirements of the RFP.

PepsiCo has launched an RFP on Halo – Removing Organics from Coconut Water to Improve Flavour – to solicit proposals for a research project to remove targeted organic compounds from mature From Concentrate Coconut Water (FC CCW) in order to make the flavour and aroma profile more neutral and improve its application potential and suitability for use by juice businesses for sugar reduction in juice blends.

While coconut water has a positive consumer perception and is lower in sugar than other juices, the flavour profile of FC CCW can be unappealing to people due to the presence of specific flavour and taste compounds.

By removing certain flavour compounds (aldehydes, lactones, benzothiazoles and alcohols), the product will have a more neutral flavour and aroma profile and will be more suitable for use in juice blends.

This RFP is seeking proposals for a six-month, proof-of-concept project to modify the current ingredients of FC CCW to minimise ‘off’ flavour and aroma profile, while maintaining current standard of identity (ie not alter levels of key sugars and electrolytes). The proposed project should aim to significantly reduce known off-flavours and aromas (perceived as soapy, earthy, nutty, musty, suntan lotion, etc) to levels at or below sensory thresholds.

Proposals are invited from Principal Investigators (PIs), postdocs, PhD students and start-up companies, based anywhere in the world, with the capacity and access to facilities to undertake the proposed research.

Solutions of interest include:

  • Physical removal – based on molecular weight
  • Chemical removal – with processing aids, absorbent resin beads
  • Neutralisation – flavour maskers
  • Other innovative approaches

Additional preferred project requirements include:

  • Capable of validating proof of concept/feasibility of technology within first six to nine months
  • Capable of implementing technology on commercial scale in the following six to eighteen months (ie approx. two years from project start)

Funding for the selected project is $100,000 over six months. There is also potential funding for a follow-on project over one to three years. PepsiCo will also offer project assistance from its scientists and engineers.

Applications must create an account on Halo in order to submit a proposal.

Proposals should be submitted by the deadline on 19 November 2021.

Halo hosted a webinar with PepsiCo on 26 October 2021 (1pm EST) to give applicants more information about the RFP and the opportunity for researchers to ask questions.