IP protection




Please provide a short description of the state-of-the-art and/or current trends in the field? How does the result fit into it?
Traditionally N2O is used in medicine, recreation, power enhancement of engines. Recently N2O is applied in culinary as propellant for whipped cream products.  Ranges of patents are also applied for the production of drinks (coffee, juices, spirits) aerated with N2O for achieving more consumer appealing effects like smoother taste, energizing or calming effects. N2O is approved as food additive E942 with specific requirements for purity.

The idea of the recent invention is to combine the stimulating effect of N2O with the health effects of naturally derived extracts from plants. These biologically active N2O extracts can be licensed as pharmacy drugs to help the treatment of different depressive conditions. Nitrogenized plant extracts can be also marketed as healthy drinks, tees, juices or local beverages of geographical origin. The proposed method and installation can be applied for N2O gasification of beer by smoothening its taste, reducing the alcohol content while increasing the euphoric effect of the drink.







What is the problem/need/knowledge gap that the research result is responding to?  How was it addressed before?
The recent invention suggests some optimizations and new application of N2O both as technical procedure and recipes. The developed module installation allows for maximal purification of the plant extracts or initial drinks, de-aeration of the initial gases of the drink at controlled temperature, separation and condensation of the original odors and alcohol streams for intensified taste, and final absorption of N2O in the drink. The recipes are for functional drinks with pharmacological properties based on phytoextracts containing different Biologically Active Substances (BAS) like vitamins, antioxidants, pharmaceuticals, medicinal oils, as well as (fermented malt drinks) sparkling alcohol drinks like beer, local specialty of beverages like boza which is made of grains, different types of tees.  The technological process is optimized by decreasing viscosity and surface tension through natural substances. This improves the absorption of the N2O, the achievement of higher concentrations and the retention of the gas after the opening of the drink’s packaging. Bee honey is used as natural sweetener and as source of more than 100 BAS to the recipes.

The sweet taste of N2O compensates the sour-bitter taste of the BAS, as well as the specifically bitter taste of the beer. The introduction of N2O to alcohol drinks allows for the decrease of the alcohol levels by ensuring the same or increased euphoric effects as the alcohol.





What is the potential for further research?
Advances in food and medical science as well as changing consumer demand and demographics are fueling growth in this market. Its significant potential is likely to attract further investment by food and food technology companies. Moreover, the industry is well-positioned to respond to emerging healthcare trends, including personalized medicine and greater incentives to reduce medical costs.

The recent invention has both research and production capacity that allows for designing a large variety of possible recipes based on plant extracts with healthy effects or for nitrogenisation of local types of drinks with gourmet significance. The technical procedure allows for additional steps in the production process to bring extra-effects to the produced drinks.






What is the proposed method of IPR-protection? (patent, license, trademark etc.)
The inventor is already granted with Bulgarian patents for its Module installation for extraction and purification of Biologically Active Substances from plants (Bulgarian patent № 49500 ВG) and the modules for deaeration and further absorption of N2O in beverages (№ 66092). Two of the recipes for galenic phytoproducts designed after 10 years of laboratory testing were also patented for Bulgaria (FAE – № 60639 and ROALLSAT – № 61638 respectively). Patented module installations and know-how can be licensed to interested companies. The produced varieties of N2O sparkling drinks can be protected by trademark.





What are the steps that need to be taken in order to secure the IPR-protection? What is the cost of IPR-protection?
The inventor has already been granted with national patents.



What is your overall assessment of the scientific maturity of the research result?
The scientific maturity of the proposed Pilot Lab can be assessed as medium to advanced due to the 10 years intensive tests of the module installations and associated methodology that confirmed the soundness of the technological process. The recipes of phytoextract designed during the tests are a world novelty. Some optimizations of the technology process in terms of improved N2O absorption and retarding are also a specific know-how of the inventor.  The invention can be considered as emerging technology with big market potential due to the recent consumer behavior and healthcare trends.




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