Inactivation Technology of Spores by Germination Induction or the Like

Request Number REQ6353446
Due Date December 1, 2017
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Inactivation Technology of Spores by Germination Induction or the Like
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a dozens-of-billion-dollar beverage manufacturer, is seeking a technology to induct germination of spores without affecting the flavor or properties of beverages.


Recently, there is an increasing demand for compatibility between “tastiness” and “retention of quality and safety” of food. Sterilization by heat processing is an established technique to ensure the microbiological safety of food. However, spores, one of the causes of food poisoning, may present high thermotolerance by formation under certain conditions, such as oligotrophy. Therefore, food and beverages must be sterilized at no less than 110-140degC to kill bacteria, including those which formed the spores. This process may result in undesirable effects on eating quality, texture and nutrients.

The client would thus like to keep the same high sterilization performance while maintaining the flavor and properties of food and beverages, by forcing spores to germinate in order to ease the requirement for sterilization.

The client has searched for such technology within its existing network, and has decided to issue this request globally to find the ideal technology.

Key Success Criteria


Requirements for the Technology

As a prerequisite for the proposed technology, the induction of germination might have been ensured at a laboratory level. However even if germination was not confirmed, proposals for technology that can sterilize spores by low-temperature or no heat, or that can inactivate spores before they germinate are also welcome.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Target food: Liquid, including soft drink and soup
  • Inertness
    • Inertness ratio: 99.9% or more is desirable.
    • Duration of process: 60 minutes or less is desirable.
  • It is desirable that the process does not change the eating quality, texture or nutrients of the target food.
    • For example, the process should not involve an excessive increase of temperature or change of pH.
  • It must be safe to ingest the target food after the process.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Respondents should submit proposals using the attached Response Template.

The client will review submitted proposals and possibly ask clarifying questions before selecting the most suitable candidates for collaboration. The client will select the best candidate(s) through evaluations. During the selection process, the client may execute non-disclosure agreements (NDA) with selected respondent(s), seek further information disclosure, and discuss specific development targets or potential opportunities. The client will execute necessary agreement(s) with the selected respondent(s) and move to the advanced development phase. Specifics of any collaboration will be determined through consultation with the concerned parties.

Possible Approaches


Possible Approaches

With regard to promoting loss of thermotolerance using forced or induced germination, the client anticipates approaches including, but not limited to, the following.

  • Additives
  • Physical stimuli, such as ultraviolet light, particle beams and ultrasonic waves
  • Exposure to gas, such as ozone

Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Contract Research
  • Technology Licensing
  • Supply Agreement
Items to be submitted


Items to be Submitted

Responses will use the Proposal Template and include the following items:

  • Overview of the technology
  • Principle of the technology
  • Uniqueness and advantage of the technology
  • Development stage
  • Current performance
    • Applicable food or beverage
    • Types of target spores
    • Germination efficiency
    • Duration of process
    • Reproducibility (such as fluctuation of germination efficiency and duration of process)
    • Data about changes in eating quality, texture and nutrients before and after the process (if any)
    • Opinions about safety
    • Possibility of scaling up
  • Current challenges and future plans
  • Conditions for samples supplied by the client (available volume for sampling, cost, period of time, condition for contract, etc.)
  • Policy on intellectual property rights of the proposed technology
  • Information to show the capability of research and development, such as research papers, patents and other achievements
  • Overview of the organization

Area of Interest
Request Priority