Prevention of Fading Color for Heated Vegetables without Losing Taste

Request Number REQ6370345
Due Date March 28, 2018
Request for Proposal Details
RFP Title
Prevention of Fading Color for Heated Vegetables without Losing Taste
RFP Description

NineSigma, representing a major global food manufacturer, seeks technology, ingredients, or additives to prevent fading color or discoloration of heated vegetables without losing its taste.


Pigments found in vegetables, such as chlorophylls, carotenoids, and polyphenols, fade and become discolored by heating, acid, alkaline, light, oxygen, and other stimuli. While fading color and discoloration can be suppressed to some extent by controlling the cooking temperature and time, the fresh green, yellow, and red colors of vegetables will fade away before the expiration date if long-term storage is required owing to quantity cooking. To solve this problem, the client has tried the oil-based additives etc., however, these attempts resulted in the problems with losing taste and flavor. On the other hand, R&D activities to explore new substances that can be added to food have been conducted in other areas, such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, and new food processing technologies have also been widely developed to respond to diversifying customer needs. Therefore, the client has issued this open request to accelerate development of the sought technology.


Key Success Criteria

The client anticipates effective approaches, particularly for green vegetables, such as use of food additives and edible coating, based on scientific mechanisms.



  • Target products: Deli food or soup containing vegetables that are heated in a food processing center, etc.
  • Targets vegetables:
    • Green vegetables [high priority]: Kidney bean, broccoli, Japanese mustard spinach, etc.
    • Other vegetables [low priority]: Carrot, red pepper, etc.
  • Anticipated factors of fading color / discoloration:
    • Heating, pH level, sodium level, other condiments
  • Heating conditions:
    • Temperature: 90°C (boiled) – 150°C (stir-fried)
    • Time: Approximately 5 mins (boiled) – 20 mins (stir-fried)
  • Storage conditions:
    • Container: Plastic package
    • Temperature:
      • Case 1: Chilled storage, 5°C or less
      • Case 2: Storage by pH adjustment etc., at room temperature (15 - 20°C)

Details of the required technology

  • Should be able to suppress decomposing of chlorophylls, carotenoids, polyphenols, and other pigments contained in heated vegetables (especially, green vegetables)
    • Suppression to 10% or so discoloration from the original color
  • Should not lose the taste and flavor of the target food
  • Application timing: Before, during, or after heating
  • In case of additives: is preferable that the proposed additives are already approved in Japan.

(Please see the following URL)

Specified additives:

Existing food additives:
Natural flavorings:
General food additives:


Requirements for respondent

  • Can provide samples at this time.


Possible Approaches

Expected approaches

Anticipated approaches include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Food additives
    • Additives with an anti-oxidant effect
    • Structure stabilizers for chlorophyll
    • Coloring agents with an effect to make vegetables green again
  • Edible coating
    • Coating with oil, starch, etc.


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.


Approaches not of interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Concept-level technology or material
  • Technology or material that changes the taste of flavor of target food


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

Responses should use the Proposal Template which is linked to the “attachments“ shown at the bottom of this page and include the following items:


  • Overview of the proposed technology (characteristics, uniqueness)
  • Mechanism of prevention of fading color that is used in the proposed technology
  • Development stage (performance verified on a lab level/already commercialized)
  • Current performance
    • Type of target vegetables
    • Effect on prevention of fading color (on the green color and other colors, respectively)
    • Durability of the effect
    • Application phase of the proposed technology (before, during, or after heating)
    • Use conditions of the proposed technology: e.g. cooking conditions (heating temperature, pH level, sodium level, etc.)
    • Applications
  • Conditions of sample testing (sample volume, cost, terms of agreement, etc.)
  • Current challenges and future plans


Area of Interest
Request Priority