Britvic launches £1m pea-protein innovation partnership

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: Xampla's Chief Technology Officer, Marc Rodríguez Garcia. Pic:Xampla/Britvic
Pic: Xampla's Chief Technology Officer, Marc Rodríguez Garcia. Pic:Xampla/Britvic

Related tags: Britvic, Packaging, Fortification

UK soft drinks business Britvic is joining forces with University of Cambridge-backed company Xampla to develop tech to protect its vitamin fortified drinks.

Xampla's technology uses pea protein to make microscopic capsules within the liquid that protects the vitamins, stopping them from being broken down by sunlight. After 15 years of Cambridge research, Xampla claims has created the world's first plant protein material for commercial use.

This means vitamin fortified drinks can be packaged in clear bottles: which are generally preferred by consumers and have higher recycling rates, according to Britvic. (Clear bottles normally leave vitamin drinks without the necessary protection from UV rays). 

'It's extremely exciting to see what our material can do at scale'

Xampla has already secured £1m ($1.4m) in funding from the UK Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, to scale up the technology and material processing. 

Simon Hombersley, CEO of Xampla, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Britvic to deliver innovation that will revolutionise the drinks industry and it is extremely exciting to see what our material can do at scale."

Britvic has a long history of fortifying drinks with vitamins: the FTSE 250 company started life in 1845 as The British Vitamin Product Company, with a mission to provide customers with an affordable source of nutrition.

Last year, major Britvic brands Fruit Shoot​ and 7UP made the shift to clear bottles​ to drive up recycling rates and Britvic has started to add vitamins B, C and D to Robinsons Fruit & Barley. 

Meanwhile, Irish squash brand MiWadi 0% Sugar contains vitamins B, D and zinc and children’s favourite Fruit Shoot has been fortified with multivitamins since 2016. Added vitamins C and D help support the immune system and the growth of strong bones, while B vitamins contribute to energy release.  

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