Natural Glycerin Alternatives

Request Number N982437
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PepsiCo seeks to identify natural alternatives to glycerin with equivalent functionality.


As consumers around the globe continue to push to so-called “clean labels” on their products, the food and beverage industry has responded with various initiatives to replace ingredients with alternatives deemed more natural.
Glycerin, an odorless, slightly sweet, viscous liquid, is obtained from either plant or animal sources. It serves multiple functions within a food item:
  • Humectant: providing and retaining moisture within the product
  • Plasticizer: helping the product retain its shape and structure
The inclusion of glycerin in granola, fruit and nut, and baked bars can result in a negative consumer perception of a product. However, removal of glycerin can result in a negative effect on texture, appearance and shelf stability, and effective replacements have not been identified.
To that end, PepsiCo desires natural alternatives glycerin.
Key Success Criteria


  • ‘Natural’ - meaning that the ingredient has not been subject to processing outside of basic processing steps (e.g. heating, cutting, grinding, pasteurizing, freezing, etc.)
  • Functions as a plasticizer in cold-form or baked snack format over an extended shelf-life (up to 12 months)
  • Lowers water activity equivalent to or greater than an equal amount of glycerin
  • Does not have a negative taste impact - no worse than glycerin
  • Label friendly - meaning that it does not sound like a long chemical on the ingredient list or is familiar & accepted by consumers
  • Does not provide “nutrients to limit”:
    • sodium, sugar, saturated fat, etc.
  • Does not react negatively with other ingredients (e.g. promotes accelerated oxidation, discoloration, etc.)
  • Materials must:
    • be edible
    • be non-toxic
    • and have line of sight to regulatory compliance and approval


  • Provides some nutritional value beyond calories
  • Replacement for sweet ingredients contributing less added sugar
  • Cost below or similar to glycerin
  • Allows for Non-GMO, Organic and/or gluten free claims
  • Materials/ingredients used are preferred to be characterized as safe by the authorized regulatory body:
    • GRAS materials in the US OR
    • materials listed as safe to consume by EFSA OR
    • Codex Alimentarius.


Possible Approaches

PepsiCo is open (with the exceptions noted below) to all approaches capable of achieving the desire performance.


Approaches not of interest
Unless significant advancement has been achieved, PepsiCo is already familiar with the following technologies:
  • Sodium chloride or other low molecular weight salt
  • Propylene glycol
  • Sugar alcohols


Preferred Collaboration types
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted

You must use the RESPONSE TEMPLATE form provided for the PepsiCo Gallery.


The completed form must be uploaded to your submission through the NineSights platform. Please contact if you need assistance. PepsiCo will not review proposals that do not include the required form. The information contained in your Response Template should inform PepsiCo about the performance your technology can achieve without divulging any information how that performance is achieved. PepsiCo encourages you to respond with enthusiasm and creativity, provided that the information shared remains technologically informative.


To submit your idea or proposal, please use the Respond Now button on the right of this page. Please note that only non-confidential information can be accepted. By submitting a response, you represent that the response does not contain and will not be deemed to contain any confidential information of any kind.


Your response should be a concise abstract/executive summary. The proposal should briefly describe the technical approach and provide information on technology performance, background and description of the responding team and their related experience. By submitting a response, you acknowledge that PepsiCo, in its sole discretion, may select or reject a response or any portion thereof. Individuals and organizations wishing to engage with PepsiCo must first submit their non-confidential response via the appropriate project page – PepsiCo will not respond to or accept proposals made outside the PepsiCo Gallery managed by NineSigma.


Nothing in this Project Description obligates PepsiCo to implement, practice, license, purchase or provide any solutions, recommendations, inventions, intellectual property, products, concepts, systems, techniques or services, or to enter into any relationship or agreement with any party responding to this Project Description (a “Respondent”).  This Project Description does not create a relationship of agency, partnership, joint venture, or license between the PepsiCo and any Respondent.  Respondent acknowledges that PepsiCo may currently or in the future be developing, acquiring or licensing information inventions, intellectual property, products, concepts, systems, techniques or services similar to those being requested in this Project Description.  Accordingly, nothing in this Project Description will be construed as a representation or agreement that PepsiCo will refrain from developing or authorizing another to develop any products, concepts, systems or techniques that are similar to those contemplated in this Project Description.


Point of Contact
Jonathan Jakischa
Area of Interest
  • Chemical Manufacturing
  • Consumer Products
  • Food & Beverage
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Snack Food Manufacturing
  • Ingredient Manufacturing
  • Other
  • Flavorings & Additives
Due Date
March 30, 2018
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