From beer to smoothie, drinks are becoming instant to reduce their carbon footprint
(ETX Daily Up) – Pour, dilute, and it’s done! If yesterday you had to uncap or unscrew to drink, tomorrow you just have to mix and shake to consume new drinks. Agri-food manufacturers are imagining beverages in completely new, even unusual shapes, supposed to reduce the carbon footprint of the beverage department.
This is the story of two young food engineers who would like to take their favorite drinks everywhere without sacrificing taste. Yvan Etchiandas and Noémie Barguil also aim to reduce the carbon footprint of their beverage consumption. Two years of research as well as support within the framework of the Grand Nancy Innovation network, which oversees start-ups with innovative projects, will be necessary to launch DoYourDrink, a brand of drinks based on tea, flowers and plants. The flagship material of their economic model is powder.
From breakfast when serving a hot drink to afterwork, with a cocktail to toast at the weekend, to lunch when you have to prepare a vinaigrette, these powders can be used on multiple occasions. The dry matter can be sprinkled or mixed into a variety of preparations, usually presented in a liquid form. Green tea, black tea, verbena, hibiscus… The bottle contains between 24 and 30 doses and allows you to prepare drinks for an average of one month. The DYD project benefited from a crowdfunding campaign via the Ulule platform, which met with great success, to the point of exceeding the objective set at 200 presales. Contributors should receive their order next June.
When we are interested in the environmental impact of the beverage department, we generally emphasize – and rightly so – the responsibility for transport, but also the importance of packaging. Much has been said about paper containers for wine, Coca-Cola, or wood pulp containers for beer and whisky, or the packaging of the future for Tetra Pak using fiber instead of aluminum. Remember that the Swedish company is a packaging juggernaut with more than 78 billion liters of food products packaged in its famous carton. According to Ademe’s Impact Co2 portal, one liter of milk emits 1.5 kg of CO2 equivalent when manufacturing, distribution and consumption are included, compared to 0.0001 kg for tap water.
Liquids to solids
More and more food companies are now going further by completely rethinking the way beverages are consumed to make them more environmentally acceptable. These innovations commit us to changing our preparation habits. In the future, we would be invited to dilute the liquids in order to quench our thirst. In Marseille, the young bosses of the Morice company have rethought the consumption of vegetable milks to guarantee consumers the absence of additives. The brand is called Meelk and concerns concentrates of almonds harvested in Spain or hazelnuts from Italy or Turkey. The operation consists of finishing the preparation of the drink yourself by adding water. Not only do you avoid ingesting polyoxyethylene sorbitan monostearate or potassium orthophosphates already identified in vegetable milk recipes, but you can also personalize the beverage by adapting the density when you like it more or less creamy. The dried fruit concentrates are packaged in glass bottles and ensure an ecological promise while offering a healthier alternative.
This double contract offered to consumers is often at the heart of the recipes for these liquids which may surprise. This is the case of smoothie powders from the company Fruitix, which offers to ingest more fruits and vegetables thanks to freeze-dried powders, sometimes enriched with nutrients, offered on a subscription basis. This trend concerns a varied sampling, and even includes beer. The brewery of a German abbey has the ambition to reduce the carbon footprint of its foam, the balance of which is weighed down by the use of water – beer is made up of 90% of it, by transforming it into powder . Located in the Land of Brandenburg, the Klosterbrauerei brewery needed two years of research to develop a blond lager transformed into granules during the last production stage. And this is not the only particularity of the beverage that is diluted in water to be consumed: it does not contain alcohol.
If this innovation surprises, the hour of the aperitif does not however escape the transformation of liquids into solids. Last year, two young graduates from Lyon’s top business school launched cocktails in compact form with different flavors on which you pour water and the alcohol of your choice to personalize the recipe. These solid forms are flavored with raspberry, ginger and basil, or passion fruit, peach and mint, or apple and elderflower. The brand name LXIR guarantees that the recipe is made from natural flavors and no artificial colors are needed in the production. Not only does this solution reduce packaging, but it also makes it possible to reconcile those who consume alcohol and those who do not with one and the same product, since you can choose whether or not to add a dash of spirits.