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Innovation Opportunities

Seeking innovative solutions for:

Free the Water

Seeking innovators to help make a tastier
and healthier cracker!

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The Challenge

Veggie crackers are a healthy snack alternative, but the dough is too wet and sticky for mass production. Help us figure out how to dry it out.

85 – 90%

Water in veggie puree


Water in sheetable dough


Preferred amount of water in sheetable dough


Xinova seeks the disclosure of inventions that produce sheetable doughs using vegetable puree.

Cracker dough using vegetable puree is too wet and sticky for mass production. Too bad, because consumers want healthier baked snacks that incorporate that flavor and nutritional benefits of vegetables. Xinova is seeking ways to manage the watery dough problem so vegetables can be included into sheets of dough and baked like traditional crackers.

Some vegetable purees contain about 85% water. However, that water is hard to access because, unlike the unbound water in dough, the vege puree’s moisture is trapped within the vegetables’ cells and bound to fiber components.

Help us figure out how to unbind bound-water in vegetable purees to create “sheetable,” veggie-puree dough using existing equipment.

Are you ready to accept the challenge?

Problem definition

Xinova wishes to invent a way to manufacture baked snacks using vegetable puree , but the purees’ excessive water content is not compatible with existing plant equipment and processes.

Currently the producer uses dough, which is approximately 50% water. The dough contains enough moisture to hydrate all dry ingredients (e.g. flours, starches) within the dough and produce a “sheetable” dough that can be easily processed, cut, and baked.

Vegetable purees typically contain 85-90% water. However, the water trapped within the vegetable cells of purees and bound to fiber components does not behave like the unbound water added to form dough and, thus, is not as effective in hydrating dry ingredients.

A mixture of dry ingredients and puree containing 50% of water by weight does not form sheetable dough like unbound water. Because of this, excess water is required to form a sheetable dough. Yet, this excess water must be removed by additional baking to achieve target water activity for shelf stability. In addition, excess water can lead to sticky dough resulting in processability issues. Finally, the resulted product often has undesired texture.

Additional baking and processing time as well as product and processability challenges with high-moisture dough make it difficult to produce snacks containing vegetable purees with existing plant equipment. Methods to produce sheetable doughs that can leverage the water contained in purees are desired.

Why is this problem valuable to solve?

Consumers are demanding healthier snacks. They want less sugar, less salt, less artificial ingredients and less processing. They want a “clean label.” The use of vegetable purees to create snacks addresses this issue. Xinova can improve the health of its consumer by reducing the water content of the vegetable puree before it is mixed with the dough, Xinova can add more puree to the dough without exceeding the desired water content, leading to a healthier snack.

An ideal solution

An ideal solution will unlock the water content of pureed vegetables to create sheetable doughs from a mixture of dry ingredients, puree, and water totaling no more than 50% water by weight, preferably between 38-45%. The ideal solution will use all the water from the puree to form dough without adding additional water.

This is where you come in.

Ready to accept the challenge and submit your solution?

Here’s how:

Get started

Challenge Partnerships

Free the Water Challenge is sponsored by PepsiCoSponsored by PepsiCo

This Xinova challenge opportunity is sponsored by PepsiCo. As one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world, PepsiCo’s mission is to provide consumers around the world with delicious, affordable, convenient and complementary foods and beverages from wholesome breakfasts to healthy and fun daytime snacks to evening treats.

PepsiCo centers its strategy and operations on the theme of Performance with Purpose – aligning what is good for their business with what is good for society and the planet. It starts with what they make – a wide range of foods and beverages from the indulgent to the more nutritious; extends to how they make their products – conserving precious natural resources and fostering environmental responsibility in and beyond their operations, and considers those who make them – striving to support communities where they work and the careers of generations of talented PepsiCo employees.

In Partnership with HeroX

This challenge is brought to you by a partnership between HeroX and Xinova, in a dedicated effort to bring innovative thinkers together to solve this problem. The challenge is being showcased on HeroX, however all submissions will be managed via Xinova’s Innovator portal. Final solutions will be reviewed and submitted to the sponsor, PepsiCo. 

The details

Awards for selected solutions

We will conduct a global review of your invention using a team of experts who will examine the technology, potential products, markets, future customers and existing landscape. We will select the best proposed solutions gathered during the circulation period of this Challenge. We will pay any awards in installments, as per your written and executed contract with us. You will be prompted on the Innovator Portal to view and sign a contract with Xinova, before a submission can be accepted.


Xinova, LLC
311 1⁄2 Occidental Ave. S. Suite #300
Seattle, WA. 98104

Xinova Asia Pte. Ltd.
150 Beach Road, # 08-06/08, Gateway West Singapore 189720


Shivani Ludwig

Get started on this challenge!


About Xinova

Who’s Xinova?

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