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Introducing SousZen

See how Xinova partners with PepsiCo and Innit to launch the new Seattle restaurant tech startup, SousZen, that aims to digitize ‘back of house’.

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Innovation Opportunities

Seeking innovative solutions for:

Non-Thermal Pasteurization

New cold pressed technologies are needed to increase
throughput and shelf life while decreasing costs.

Market Trends

  • The juice market has doubled in volume over the past decade
  • Health trends have created a new demand for luxury juices in markets where these products previously did not exist
  • Developing markets demand for packaged juice is on the rise
  • Developed markets are seeing increased demand for cold-pressed juices

Developing markets, such as Asia Pacific and Latin America, show an increased demand for juice products. In developed regions, the traditional juice market growth has slowed, but demand for cold-pressed or luxury juices is taking off.


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Successful Non-Thermal Pasteurization Technologies Will:

  • Extend Shelf Life – 63 to 77 days minimum
  • Have Low Regulation – New tech should be GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe)
  • Generate Consumer Acceptance – Must maintain a clean label and consumers must perceive it to be healthy
  • Cost Less – Equipment and operating costs must be lower than current technology
  • Reduce Micro-organisms – Must achieve >5-log reduction in pathogenic and spoilage micro-organism load
  • Have a High Processing Rate – Prefer at least 25 kilo-liters/hour
  • Consider Packaging – Advantageous if the product can be sterilized in its packaging
  • Maintain Low Heat – Temperature of the food cannot exceed 24o C

Current Technology is Lacking

Dense Phase Carbon Dioxide (DPCD)

The rapid decompression of carbon dioxide from a pressure of 500lbs/in2 to ambient pressure. This is milder and lower pressure than HPP. Current limitations are low solubility in strong polar substances and poor selectively of some solutes.

Bacteriocins and Antimicrobial Ingredients

Biologically active peptides that inhibit the growth of spoilage or pathogenic bacteria. Current limitations with the range of bacteria they can inhibit.

High Pressure Processing (HPP)

Uses hydrostatic pressures to inactivate micro-organisms with minimal heating. Current limitations are high capital costs and low throughput.

Pulsed Light (PL) and UV light

Pulsed white light inactivates vegetative cells and spores on the surfaces of foods. Current limitations are in fluid foods where the micro-organisms are located far from the UV source and don’t receive photon contact because the fluid layer absorbs it.

Pulsed Electric Field (PEF)

High Voltage pulses reduce micro-organisms. PEF is limited to the types and viscosity of foods. Liquid foods with small particles and the presence of bubbles diminish efficacy.

Ozone/Cold Plasma

Ozone (O3) applied to food is highly reactive and causes deactivation of micro-organisms. Current limitations are significant loss of color pigment, and high oxidization potential that degrades organic compounds.


Enzymes are purified from microbial cells then added to foods. Current limitations are the cost of the enzymes, and in some products they must be inactivated or removed after processing.

Invention Suggestions

Dense Phase Carbon Dioxide (DPCD)

Solutions that focus on high-throughput. Commercial sized DPCD equipment with continuous operations is desired.

Bacteriocins and Antimicrobial Ingredients

New bacteriocins and antimicrobial ingredients that are considered GRAS and can reduce micro-organism load and be accepted by consumers.

High Pressure Processing (HPP)

Invention solutions that allow for continuous, high volume HPP rather than batch or semi-continuous as well as those that combining HPP with other technologies (DPCD, Ultrasound, PEF or PL or UV).

Pulsed Light (PL) and UV light

Technologies that thin or aerosolize the liquid to the extent that light can penetrate all the liquid or solutions that incorporate light during pre or post processing to augment pasteurization.

Pulsed Electric Field (PEF)

Solutions that resolve current limitations and include applications for liquid foods and those with small particles. Inventions for continuous, large capacity PEF equipment are desired.

Ozone/Cold Plasma

Because this technology has a tendency to destroy juices, it can’t be used during the processing stage. However during pre-processing, it has little effect on whole fruits and vegetables while reducing micro-organisms. Solutions that improve or integrate this with other technologies would be considered.


New enzymes that are considered GRAS and can reduce micro-organism load and be accepted by consumers.

Connect with Xinova

We are always seeking new problems to solve, as well as innovators and entrepreneurs to help us solve them. Let’s work together to create the future.

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