Unistraw Holdings Pte, Ltd., a leading maker of flavor delivery straws, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a key patent covering its ingredient delivery technology. Called “Drink Flavouring Straw” the patent broadly covers straws containing spherical pellets that dissolve gradually, thereby continually releasing active ingredients throughout the drinking process. For example, in a glass of regular milk, the drinker would taste chocolate throughout the entire glass, not just in the first few sips or in a clogged mass at the bottom of the container.
Of particular note, the technology can be used to deliver not only flavorings, but nutritional and therapeutic compositions such as probiotics and medications, greatly expanding its uses. The patent number is 8,334,003.
“We see the opportunity to own the ‘better-for-you kids’ beverage market, particularly with fun, take-anywhere milk beverages that promote both mental and physical health,” said Suchet Rastogi, CEO of Unistraw. “Of course, having strong, defendable IP is a prerequisite to making the necessary investment to commercialize the technology.”
Unistraw was designed in Australia in 1996 by Peter Baron who was searching for a better way to encourage his grandchildren to drink milk
and developed a prototype bead-in-straw delivery device using a woman’s stocking. The first patent application was made in 1997 and patents were granted in Australia, the United States and six other countries in 2001. In 2003, market testing was launched in Denny’s locations throughout the USA.
Today, Unistraws are for sale in 30 countries around the world. The product has been internationally recognized for innovation and design including as one of “50 Great Ideas for the 21st Century” by The Independent in Britain.
Unistraw is poised to launch in the US market in the first quarter of 2013.