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Procter & Gamble Donates Nutritional Beverage Technologies

Published 05-30-00

Submitted by P&G

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 includes rights to both the US and world patents and related intellectual property covering this technology and 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 School.

"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 will be 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."

About MACC
The Mid-America Commercialization Corporation is a not-for-profit company founded as a joint venture between Kansas State University, the State of Kansas via the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation, the City of Manhattan and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. Its mission is to facilitate the development and commercialization of new technologies for regional economic development benefits. Under that mission, it works in partnership with the Kansas State University Research Foundation to market and license technologies derived from research at K-State. Through a partnership with the Kansas Technology Enterprise Corporation, the Mid-America Commercialization Corporation also manages a technology acquisition, development and commercialization program to bring donated technologies to Kansas for application by, and benefit to institutions across the entire state.

About Procter & Gamble
P&G makes and markets 300 brands to nearly five billion consumers in 140 countries. Today, its food and beverage brands include Folgers, Pringles, Sunny Delight, Crisco and Jif. The company's long-term focus in this business is life-enhancing nutrition. P&G holds more patents in food technology than any other U.S. food company and is actively seeking out and investing in new technologies which it can develop into nutritious, good-tasting products.

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