Request for Proposal
Status: RFP is Closed

Heat Activated Foaming Technologies

Request Number
Due Date
Apr 27
Program Manager


Supply Agreement

Potential to supply dozens of units over several years


Phase 0 – Identification of potential partners by Q3 2017

Phase 1 – Industrial evaluation of technologies by 2022

Phase 2 – Full scale implementation of successful technology, post-2022


All financials to be negotiated based upon technology efficiency, scalability and readiness.

RFP was closed on

RFP Title


Heat Activated Foaming Technologies
RFP Description
NineSigma, representing a specialty chemical manufacturer for food, health, nutrition, and industrial markets, invites proposals for novel heat reactive foaming technologies or blowing agents for food-grade applications. Leavening resulting from the reaction of a novel formulation of food-grade agents or ingredients is preferred (as opposed to other air entrainment approaches).

Food leavening technologies are typically substances that create a foaming effect (i.e. evolution of gas bubbles) within a dough matrix. The action of the foaming agent allows baked goods to ‘rise’, creating a lightening, or softening, effect on the final product. Most bakery products use agents that create CO2 within the dough matrix. Other technologies and systems exist to incorporate air into a dough matrix.


Most bakery applications currently use a weak acid such as sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP), glucono delta-lactone (GDL), and sodium aluminum phosphate (SALP), that reacts with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to create a heat activated reaction that releases CO2 gas into the dough matrix. This system reacts at a rate less than 40% before baking, which is ideal for the intended application. Similar heat activated formulations that release harmless gases (eg, CO2, N2, O2) without altering food flavor profiles of the food are the targets of this RFP.


Recently, European and other markets have regulated the use of aluminum in foods. This presents a challenge for the food industry, as SALP has been an ideal agent for leavening bakery products because of its performance characteristics. The client sponsor for this RFP seeks ready to use products or collaborations to develop novel leavening mechanisms to replace the use of SALP in food grade applications. Foaming or blowing agents, technologies, or expertise from other industries, if adaptable to the food industry, are of significant interest for this RFP.


NineSigma’s client has considerable expertise in the formulation of stable leavening agents and offers to collaborate in the adaptation of novel external approaches into new products even if these do not currently meet all of the desired performance specifications.


Anticipated Project Phases or Project Plan

Phase 1 – Proof of concept

  • Internal assessment of proposed approach (sample testing)
  • Working with the RFP sponsor, develop or adapt existing know-how into stable formulations having desirable reaction profiles and use characteristics


Phase 2 – Commercial development


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.

Key Success Criteria

The successful technology will:

  • If an ingredient, food formulation, or other substance:
    • Be a heat activated (preferably between 100-140 oF) foaming agent that can be adapted to food applications. Demonstrate a slow release rate of reaction less than 40% before baking
    • Be GRAS or Food Grade Affirmable
    • Not affect the texture, or introduce undesired flavor to, a baked food product
    • Not introduce more than 50 ppm aluminum in the leavening component (however, aluminum-free is preferred)
    • Either have a particle size similar to a bake mix off the shelf or ability to be milled down to that particle size
    • White to off-white color with no color change on heating
  • If an approach based on processing technology, mechanical system, or other alternative means of air entrainment:
    • Meet or exceed performance characteristics of SALP in bakery products
    • Meet all other applicable criteria as listed above for a non-ingredient solution
Possible Approaches

Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Novel ingredient formulations and blends
  • New chemical compositions, organic or inorganic (such as polymers, enzymes, controlled release agents)
  • Foaming agents that evolve inert gases other than CO2 (i.e. N2) that are compatible with food and heat
  • Technical approaches other than ingredients/formulations that introduce air into a dough matrix, but that are not currently in use in the baking industry
  • Clean label / label friendly materials are preferred.
Approaches not of Interest

The following approaches are not of interest:

  • Magnesium phosphate-based leavening agents, unless proven to outperform currently available agents and/or perform as well as SALP
  • Any commercially-available leavening technology that has no potential to match performance characteristics as SALP
  • Any approach that cannot ultimately be adapted for food applications or cannot meet the criteria for food use as listed above
  • Approaches based on encapsulated technologies are not of interest at this time.
  • Ideas that cannot be supported by lab testing or that haven’t been proven at lab scale.
  • Yeast based leavening agents, other approaches that are already in widespread use in the baking industry
Items to be Submitted

Your response should address the following:

  • Non-confidential description of proposed technology and working principle
  • Availability of technical data including rate of release, activation temperature, solubility in aqueous systems, stability
  • Technical maturity of the approach (concept, reduced to practice, prototype, ready to commercialize, ready to implement, commercialized)
  • Availability of samples or demonstration
  • Pathway to commercial scale including timing, estimated budget, and capacity for manufacture if any
  • Position on intellectual property including patent references
  • Desired relationship with sponsor
  • Team description and related experience


Appropriate responses to this Request

Responses from companies (small to large), consultants, 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.

Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest