Enabling Reliable Adhesion of Flour to Protein

Request Number REQ8364034
Due Date January 16, 2018
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Enabling Reliable Adhesion of Flour to Protein
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing North American meat processor, invites proposals for innovative solutions that enable the coating of a fine grained, powdered coating onto to a protein substrate.


NineSigma’s client prepares and processes thousands of raw, animal protein products for human consumption every hour. The substrate protein is maintained in cold (< 40° Fahrenheit) and moist conditions, and individual pieces can range in size from as small as 0.5 inches wide by 1.25 inches long to as large as 4.0 inches wide by 6.0 inches long. Pieces range in thickness from 0.5 inches to 1.0 inches.


In its current operations, the client’s processors treat the surface of the individual animal protein portions in a chilled liquid solution containing water, powdered egg and powdered milk, simulating 1 dozen large eggs mixed into 1 gallon of 4% milk.  Immediately following this pretreatment, the animal protein is coated in a flour-based powder mixture, with the egg/milk solution acting as a bonding agent to promote adhesion. The coated product is then immediately deep fried at high temperature until done.


The client has identified significant need to streamline this multi-step process outlined herein to facilitate greater operational speed and efficiency. Furthermore, the need for the existing egg and milk solution represents a minor, but unavoidable sanitary concern which the client would eliminate, if possible.


Therefore, novel technology proposals are sought outlining ways to substantially modify the protein and/or powder coating or otherwise eliminate the liquid pretreatment step of this process.


Of particular interest are food chemistry solutions impacting the protein, powder and/or liquid components of the process.


Solutions – including ingredients and processes – should ideally be compatible with or readily adaptable to use on products intended for human consumption. Proposed solutions should be readily accepted by healthy conscious consumers seeking natural, high quality ingredients and avoiding excessive salt, sugar, and “chemical” additives in their food.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Identification of potential partners

  • Review of proposed technologies
  • Q1/Q2 2018


Phase 2 – Proof of Concept

  • Evaluation of technology/ies in client’s test facility
  • Q2/Q3 2018


Phase 3 – Full scale implementation

  • Deployment to nationwide production facilities
  • Timetable for implementation to be determined by the proposed technology, development plan and economic viability.


Criteria for Moving from Phase 1 to Phase 2

Client will consider for advancement an approach that meets performance criteria with acceptable economics and pathway to commercialization and implementation.


Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • Be compatible with animal proteins
  • Be compatible with products intended for human consumption by health-conscious consumers
  • Bond or promote bonding of the powder coating to the protein substrate
    • Bond must be strong enough maintain coating throughout cooking and assembly operations
  • Be non-detectable to customers of its legacy product for
    • Taste
    • Mouthfeel
    • Consumer experience
  • Be scalable to facilities with tight space constraints
  • Be reliable – requiring minimal maintenance resources
  • Be suitable for in a harsh commercial kitchen environment


Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Flavor-neutral bonding agents added to the powder coating
  • Modifications to the flour coating to allow it to function as both bonding agent and coating mechanism
  • Modifications to the chicken/protein that allow it to directly bond with powder coating
  • Alternative liquid bonding agents

While alternative liquid bonding agents are of interest, technologies that eliminate the liquid bonding agent are highly desirable.


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Approaches that cannot be made compatible with applications involving human consumption
  • Approaches with negative impacts on:
    • flavor
    • mouthfeel
  • Approaches requiring:
    • significant preparation time or the addition of extra steps
    • significant equipment expenditure
    • use of a pre-mixed batter in place of dry flour mixture


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Technology Licensing
  • Technology Acquisition
  • Supply Agreement
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted

To respond, please make sure you are registered in NineSights, as it will prompt you to log in. Then, use the Response options at the top or bottom of the page. You may submit supplemental files in addition to your completed response form.


Appropriate responses will use the response form and address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology and working principle
  • Availability of technical data
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, reduced to practice, prototype, ready to commercialize, ready to implement, commercialized)
  • Pathway to commercial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture
  • Estimated unit cost of technology
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Team description and related experience


Other Request information includes:



Responses from companies (small to large), academic researchers, other research institutes, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, or inventors are welcome. For example:


You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a proof of concept.

You represent a company or university that has reduced method to practice at lab scale.

You represent a company or university that has developed a method for use at pilot scale.

You represent a company or university that has demonstrated a method ready for implementation at industrial scale.

You represent a technology transfer agency that represents an inventor or technology holder who can demonstrate an approach to address the request.

You represent a university research department that has a bench-scale demonstration ready to adapt.

You represent a university research department that has an undeveloped pathway with a high probability of success.



Area of Interest
  • Consumer Products
Request Priority
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