Starch Structure Analysis Partner For Texture Evaluation

Request Number REQ9369303
Due Date April 4, 2018
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Starch Structure Analysis Partner For Texture Evaluation
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a global multibillion-dollar food manufacturer, seeks a research partner that can analyze the starch microstructure in a non-destructive manner, in order to understand the relationship between the texture of starch-containing food, such as rice and bread, and the starch structure.


The relationship between the starch structure and the texture will be examined mainly by the client; however, factors of the starch structure that are closely related to the physical properties and texture of starch have not been identified yet. Therefore, the client seeks organizations that can help in identifying the structural factors related to the texture of starch-containing foods. Proposals from organizations that already started research on the texture and starch structure are also welcome.



The client is engaged in various R&D activities, such as establishment of methods to evaluate the taste, in order to improve the quality of rice, noodles, bread, and other foods. Although the starch structure is considered to significantly affect the physical properties and texture of food, the client has yet to establish a technology to analyze the starch structure of actual food accurately and evaluate the texture quantitatively. To understand optimal processing conditions to achieve a high quality of target food, the client is currently exploring various approaches through trial and error.


In the meantime, since the technology to visualize the microstructure of cells, etc. has advanced in the field of biology in recent years, the client also expects organizations from outside the food industry to propose new approaches applicable to the sought evaluation technology.


Therefore, the client has issued this open request to a wide range of organizations from the food industry and other different industries worldwide as well, in order to further accelerate R&D of the technology by identifying a method to discover a technology that enables analysis of the starch structure and establishing a technique to find factors related to the texture.


Key Success Criteria

Requirements of the sought technology

  • Target food
    • Starch-containing processed food, such as rice, noodles, and bread
  • Items to be analyzed
    • Analysis of the starch microstructure
      Anticipated analysis includes, but is not limited to, the following. Other items considered related to the texture are also welcome.
      • Imaging of starch on a molecular level
      • Binding status of glucose in starch
      • Composition of amylose/amylopectin/water, etc. in starch
      • It is preferable that analysis can be conducted directly on actual food in a non-destructive matter, without extracting a starch ingredient.
  • It is preferable that analysis can be conducted easily, without involving an expert.
  • It is preferable that the technology is of high throughput.


Possible Approaches

Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Structural analysis technology on nano/micro level
    • Scanning electron microscopy and cryo-electron microscopy
    • X-ray spectroscopic analysis
  • Technology to visualize the distribution of physical quantity inside the target food and three-dimensional analysis technology
    • Fluorescence fingerprint imaging
    • X-ray micro-CT
    • MRI
    • Optical coherence tomography

 Proposals from organizations in fields other than the food industry, e.g. cell structure analysis in the field of biology and polymer analysis technology in the field of high molecular compounds are also welcome.


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.


Preferred Collaboration types
  • Joint Development
  • Contract Research
  • Consulting
Items to be submitted

Items to be Included in the Proposal

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

  • Overview, characteristics, and principle of the technology
  • Uniqueness of the technology
  • Development stage (concept level/performance verified at lab level/already commercialized)
  • Current performance
    • Targets that can be analyzed
    • Analysis items
    • Relationship between the structure and physical properties (e.g. texture), which is related to the analysis items (if any)
    • Analysis method (non-destructive/destructive)
    • Time required for analysis (including pretreatment time)
  • Related achievements (if any)
  • Past achievements (e.g. additional information supporting the R&D capabilities, such as research papers and patents)


Area of Interest
Request Priority