The Indra Nooyi-led US cola major PepsiCo has secured an Indian patent for its invention relating to a beverage preservative system. The system prevents spoilage by micro-organisms in a beverage within a sealed container for at least 16 weeks.
The grant of patent comes at a time when the cola major has been facing stiff resistance from states like Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the consumption of beverage products of the company primarily on the ground of health concerns and ground water depletion. The traders’ unions in the two states had called for boycott of the products of the company by the retailers under their ogranisations.
Many food and beverage products include chemical preservatives to extend the shelf life of the product by inhibiting the growth of spoilage microorganisms such as mold, yeast and bacteria. However, some preservatives currently in use have been characterised as either a detriment to one’s health, a threat to the environment or as insufficiently stable.
Therefore, there is a market demand for food and beverage products which do not include these detrimental preservatives, and yet still possess extended shelf-life, PepsiCo said in the patent application filed at the Mumbai patent office in 2012.
Ujjwala G Haldankar, assistant controller of patents & designs, Mumbai patent office, on Thursday granted the patent to PepsiCo, after satisfying with the amendments carried out against the objections raised in the first examination report (FER) and the submissions during the subsequent hearing process.
The cola major submitted that the prime objective of the present invention was to provide new preservative systems for use in beverages as replacements for at least one currently used preservative that has detrimental health and environmental effects, or lack of sufficient stability.
It was further submitted that the invention provides a new beverage preservative system with improved sensory impact without benzoic acid and reduced concentrations of sorbic acid. Some countries have regulatory limits sorbic acid use in food and beverage products.