Bottlenecks deliver personalised results

Imagine a portable beverage that allows you to choose the flavour of the drink you want after you have purchased it. Or how about adding a selection of nutrients, depending on the consumption occasion? That's the idea behind a prototype bottle being developed by Massachusetts-based technology development start-up Ipifini, whose Programmable Liquid Container technology employs buttons on a drinking vessel that release flavours or other ingredients into the liquid. A programmable cola bottle with buttons for lemon, lime, vanilla, cherry and caffeine could allow for 32 potential choices of soda.

Ipifini said it was licensing the technology to leading packaging, beverage, food, personal care, paint and pharmaceutical companies. "We believe this technology raises the bar on consumer choice and will change the way liquid products are manufactured and marketed across multiple segments," said Dr Tod Woolf, founder and president of Ipifini. "Since its introduction we have been overwhelmed by inquiries from beverage companies, cosmetics companies and the media."

Glenn Wachler, co-inventor of Ipifini's Choice-Enabled Packaging, noted: "Our technology allows the beverage industry to satisfy the personal preferences of today's consumers with a single container."

Ipifini said its system was applicable to any liquid product with multiple varieties, and had the potential to simplify manufacturing, distribution, promotion and sales.

A similar post-purchase ingredient activation system has been developed by Swiss company Emmi for its coenzyme Q10-fortified range of beverages called Lacto Tab. Emmi's system employs a sealed micronutrient-containing tablet in the bottle lid, which is only released at the point of consumption.

While a similar system called LifeTop has been developed and brought to market by Swedish innovator BioGaia, Emmi's development will see the first incorporation of CoQ10 into a beverage.

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