P&G Donates Nutritional Beverage Technologies
The Procter & Gamble Company is donating patented nutritional beverage
technologies for the benefit of the Mid-America
Commercialization Corporation, Kansas State University and other Kansas research institutions. The agreement, which
includes rights to both U.S. and world patents and related intellectual property covering this technology, will be announced
today at a news conference at K-State.
The donation involves patent rights and technological know-how for "Smoothies-Protein
Particle Stabilization" or PPS, a
process which results in shelf stable beverages containing both milk and fruit juices. Milk-juice beverages are commonly
known as "Smoothies." Long shelf life Smoothies are otherwise difficult to prepare because of storage incompatibilities
between juice and milk.
However, Procter & Gamble researchers have found a way to overcome
this technical barrier — the Smoothies-PPS
technology permits milk and juice to co-exist at room temperature with little or no sedimentation over time. The resulting
nutritious beverage has a smooth taste and offers the calcium benefit of milk and the vitamins and flavor of juice. This new
technology could enable high-speed, mass manufacturing of Smoothies-like products. Included with the donation are product
formulations and rights to use proprietary Procter & Gamble calcium fortification technologies in Smoothie-like products.
According to K-State President Jon Wefald, "This nutritional technology
will provide an important additional platform upon
which our capable researchers can build. We have excellent research strengths in food and nutritional areas across several
colleges. When combined with the clinical research capabilities of our colleagues at the KU Medical Center, we can bring
together an extraordinary range of resources to help address important nutritional needs in our society.
What is particularly exciting about this donation is the prospect for
using the technology to deliver nutrition in the form of
products people want to consume for enjoyment alone."
"We simply invent more products than we can develop," said Gordon Brunner,
Procter & Gamble’s chief technology officer.
"So, we donate those ‘off-strategy’ technologies which require significant development to universities who have the unique
expertise to develop and commercialize the technology.
The Mid-America Commercialization Corporation, through its affiliation
with Kansas State University’s food and nutrition
programs, was the institute most qualified to advance the Smoothies-PPS technology and to realize its commercial potential."
Ron Sampson, president and chief executive of the Mid-America Commercialization
Corporation, said, "We very much
appreciate the confidence Procter & Gamble is placing in our organization with this donation. Because the donation involves
some products nearly ready for market, we expect to begin the commercialization process through licensing to a new startup
venture in the near future.
That venture also will have certain sub-licensing rights and, over time,
we expect to make available other new products
flowing from related university research programs."
According to Sampson, the Mid-America Commercialization Corporation
will help organize the new venture company to
commercialize products arising from the donated technologies and related university research programs. Any royalty returns
from technology licenses to the new business venture will be used to enhance the research and technology commercialization
programs of participating Kansas institutions.
To build on both this donation and existing research efforts, Kansas
State University is forming a new multi-disciplinary
research program for nutritional products, said Ron Trewyn, K-State’s vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate
"The program is intended to help facilitate the expansion of research
efforts on nutritional beverages and foods, that draw
upon the resources of various colleges, particularly human ecology and agriculture," Trewyn said. "We expect related
nutritional clinical work will be undertaken at the University of Kansas Medical Center under the framework of a new
inter-institutional agreement for cooperative research, education and outreach."
Procter & Gamble will make a formal presentation of the donation
at the conclusion of an annual meeting of U.S. Senator Pat
Roberts’ Advisory Committee on Science, Technology and the Future. The meeting was held Tuesday, May 30, in the
K-State Student Union in Manhattan.
Roberts, commenting from his Washington office, said, "We are very pleased
that the Procter & Gamble Company will
recognize our Kansas technological infrastructure with this major donation on the occasion of my advisory committee
meeting. One of the goals of my committee is to increase national awareness of the outstanding capabilities we have in
Kansas to develop new technologies and bring them to market. We look forward to the prospect of a new, long term
cooperative partnership developing between Procter & Gamble and our Kansas institutions."