Hibiscus Beverage Formula Optimization
George Brown College’s Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt) is collaborating with Nubia Beverage Co. on a formula optimization project for their Hibiscus Beverage. Nubia Beverage is a start-up company that is importing dried hibiscus flowers as raw materials from Egypt, to form the basis of a drink that will be produced and packaged in Ontario. Amal Soliman, the owner of Nubia has a background in food processing in her home country of Egypt. Nubia would like to produce a variation of a hibiscus beverage that is very popular in Egypt.
The major producer of this beverage in Egypt is a company called Isis, which is not active in North America. Nubia has conducted some preliminary market research in Ontario, which has determined that the consumers evaluating their current recipe enjoyed the flavor profile and could compared it to the taste profile of a bottled green tea beverage. Nubia’s target market is grocery retailers, although there may be foodservice applications available in the form of smoothies or beverage found in a café environment. Nubia would like to promote this as a natural product that is a healthier beverage option for consumers, in comparison to other similar beverages available in the market. Nubia would like the ingredients and processes to remain non-synthetic and minimal and the beverage should not have any artificial colours or flavours added to it. Nubia would like to have a prototype of the beverage and be moving into a small-scale production facility or have an agreement with a co-manufacturer by the end of 2013. Principal Investigators Winnie Chiu, M.Sc., Director, FIRSt, and Moira Cockburn, M.Sc., Senior Research Food Scientist, FIRSt, will use their extensive industry experience to complete this project, while working with students from GBC’s Culinary Arts program. The work plan will be executed as follows: analyze the current recipe(s) and cooking methodology to develop a gold standard hibiscus beverage recipe; develop a benchtop formula of the gold standard recipe intended for co-manufacturing purposes; conduct a Theoretical Nutritional Analysis on the formula to produce CFIA nutritional labels; determine the bottle packaging and design packaging labels for the retail product; execute shelf-life testing; determine the feasibility of purchasing a facility to produce the beverage or identify a co-manufacturer to produce a retail product in small batch sizes. After completing this project, Nubia will be capable of commercializing their hibiscus beverage as a retail product that can be sold across grocery retailers.
- Nuba Tisane
- Moira Cockburn
- Winnie Chiu
- Food and Beverage Innovation
- Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt)