Tuesday 23rd Jul, 2019

Queensland opens EOI to develop new sugar product

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Sugar mills are being encouraged to help develop a new sugarcane-based product that has almost zero calories.

The product, known as PlantZap, is a sugarcane extract developed by scientists at the Queensland Government’s Health and Food Sciences Precinct.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) has been released to identify companies with the ability to commercialise the technology, either within Australia or globally.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said PlantZap could significantly reduce the calorie content of soft drinks, energy drinks, juice, dairy foods and other food products while increasing sugar mill output.

“We are looking for a company that would initially invest in a pilot plant co-located with a sugar mill to produce small commercial quantities of PlantZap for consumer trials,” Furner said.

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“PlantZap is a natural plant-based product, rich in potassium and low in calories that can be safely added to any food or beverage, delivering on low or zero sugar marketing.

“The market for such a product is enormous. However, as always, the challenge is to find the right commercial partner.”

Furner said the next step is fining a commercial developer to take the product forward.

“With the focus on health and nutrition, adding PlantZap to foods and beverages provides sweetness without the extra calories, making it an ideal additive for a huge range of foods,” he said.

“Imagine how appealing that would be for food manufacturers and consumers.”

The closing date to respond to the EOI is 31 May 2019.