Technical feasibility

Functional drinks are drinks that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition due to certain physiologically active components. These drinks may help prevent disease, reduce the risk of developing disease, or enhance health. Consumer interest in functional foods and drinks increases steadily together with the advance in the nutrition sciences and healthcare service.

The Pilot laboratory for research and development of new functional N2O enriched drinks consists of module installation for extraction and purification of Biologically Active Substances (BAS – vitamins, antioxidants, precursors, etc.), modules for degasification and subsequent absorption of N2O in the liquid phase of the extracts, as well as complete technical and construction specifications in line with the Law on Medicinal Products for Human Use and the Good Manufacturing Practice.



SECTION I: Testing



Has the R & D result been tested?




The following question is replied according to the reply in question 1


If yes



In what mode has the result been tested?

•              Prototype

•              Pilot Application

•              Alpha/BETA testing


Different tests and approval procedures have been carried out to validate the project on Pilot R&D galenic laboratory for functional drinks with N2O.

The Module installation for the extraction and purification of BAS derived from plants was tested at laboratory scale for 10 years at the AgroBioChim plant in the city of Stara Zagora. The tests included selection of optimal non-organic and organic extragents for different plant substances and resulted in the development of more than a dozen standardized laboratory recipes for galenic phytoproducts. Among them two phytoproducts FAE and ROALLSAT were patented (Bulgarian patents № 60639 and №61638 respectively).


1b. Please describe and discuss the testing results
The module installation is capable for deep consecutive or simultaneous processing of different substances for production of wide range of galenic preparates – extracts containing sum of BAS, specific for the plant; poly-extracts containing combinations of BAS from different plants, medicinal oils an medicinal vines; fresh juices from plants. The production processes are carried out under normal atmospheric pressure or pressure up to 6 kg/sm2 and temperature from -5 to +130 degrees C. These conditions allows for the complete evaporation and removal of the non-organic and organic solvents used for extraction and purification of BAS without opening of the installation and harming the environment.

The absorption of N2O follows the world standards on the approximate amount of N2O dissolved in 1000 ml of liquid (870-6200 ml N2O in 1000 ml liquid under pressure of 101,3-506,6 kPa. )

The galenic products are also conformable with the standardized daily amounts of allowed functional substances, vitamins and minerals and are to be licensed as pharmacy drugs against depression.

The N2O itself and its use by humans is very well researched since its first use more than 100 years ago.  According to the tests, the euphoric effect of N2O in drinks lasts up to 10 minutes after the consumption of the functional drink.



SECTION 2: Current Stage of Development



To what extent does the development team have technical resources for supporting the production of a new product? (Researchers, human resources, hardware, etc. )
The inventor has developed the complete construction and technical documentation for the pilot laboratory including the module installation, the additional gasification modules, the specific requirements of the Law for Medicinal Products for Human Use and the Good Manufacturing Practice as well as recipes for the N2O enriched functional beverages. In case of funding approval of the project, collaboration contracts can be made with experienced companies in construction building for food and beverages application.



What are the technical issues that need to be tackled for full deployment, if needed?
The Pilot laboratory has a fully-fledged construction and technical documentation ready to be installed at industrial scale. Some of the constituent modules have been thoroughly tested at laboratory conditions.  Minor technical adjustments are needed to adapt the installation to different production lines, for example N2O beer can be produced by attaching the two modules for initial degasification of beer and further absorption of N2O in it. The project for Pilot laboratory for functional N2O drinks reflects all requirements for EU’s Good Manufacturing Practice for pharmaceutical manufacturing including clear definition and control of the manufacturing process, clear procedures, instructions and recipes,






What additional technical resources are needed for the production of this new product?
For starting production at industrial scale, the requirements for Good Manufacturing Practice have to be considered.



Overall assessment of the current stage of technical development.
At the current stage the Pilot Lab for N2O functional drinks has complete technical and construction documentation to meet all requirements for Good Production Practice and a prototype of the two modules for extraction and purification of phytoextracts.


SECTION 3: Deployment


Define the demands for large scale production in terms of
  • Materials
The Pilot Lab installations can be built by using conventional laboratory equipment. The reagents used for extraction of active substances from plants are the common non-organic and organic solvents supplied by the chemical providers. Specific plants (herbs, essential oil plants, etc.) are used as raw material for the extracts. They can be substituted by maltz or tee extracts depending on the type of drink to be produced.


  • technologies, tools, machineries
The installation with the modules for extraction and purification, degasification and N2O absorption are built by using common equipment for distillation, extraction, filtration and condensation. These include Florentine vessels, collectors, vacuum evaporator, filters and ultrafilters, pulse stirring mechanism condenser, extractor, pump, etc. The machinery and its parts can be easily scaled up for industrial use depending on the type of beverages to be produced and the desired amount. The spare parts are of common use in the pharmaceutical industry and are provided by a range of producers and distributors of laboratory equipment.


  • Staff effort
The inventor has the ability to supervise the process of building the Pilot Lab for N2O functional drinks as well as to conduct R&D activities for designing new recipes or for optimizing solvents and extragents. He also has the capacity to license derived phytoextracts as pharmacy drug or food additive according to the EU regulations. At industrial scale the installation can be  handled by 14 workers by operating at two shift.





SECTION 4: Overall Assessment



What is you overall assessment of the technical feasibility of the research result?
The concept of the Pilot Lab is very innovative by suggesting the combination of physiologically active substances and N2O for designing novel drinks with healthy, energizing and mood enhancing effects. The tests are partial, but concentrated on the most sophisticated and resource consuming stage of the process, the extraction and purification of complex biologically active substances to add functionality of the drink. Laboratory tests on improving N2O solubility in the extracts was also made by enhancing the efficiency of the nitrogenisation process. The scope of use of the Pilot Lab is very large starting by production of extracts as pharmacy drugs for treating psychosomatic diseases, and continuing with a wide variety of functional drinks for mass consumption – N2O beer, N2O tees, N2O juices, N2O energy drinks.



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