Início

Os nossos serviços
O que fazemos

Desenvolvimento de novos alimentos e bebidas para mercados estabelecidos e em crescimento

Questões de estabilidade e tempo de vida de alimentos e bebidas

Inovação disruptiva em alimentos e bebidas e escrita de patente

O que oferecemos num primeiro momento

Analisamos o seu caso numa primeira reunião e depois apresentamos-lhe um plano de trabalho completo, sem qualquer custo. Este plano irá conter:

1

Uma identificação clara do problema ou da solicitação de inovação;

2

Várias possibilidades para a resolução do problema identificado ou para a condução do processo de inovação;

3

Um plano de trabalho com cronologia, seccionado em várias atividades;

4

Uma lista dos deliverables e milestones por atividade;

5

O levantamento das técnicas científicas utilizadas em cada uma das atividades;

6

Uma clara identificação do que deverá ser o produto final ou a inovação.

O QUE NOS TORNA
DIFERENTES

Somos uma equipa especialista de cientistas alimentares, bioquímicos, engenheiros, nutricionistas, chefs e profissionais de bebidas, colaborando para o progresso tecnológico do setor dos alimentos e das bebidas, com uma clara visão de mercado e necessidades de indústria.

Tecnologias laboratoriais de vanguarda

Laboratório de cozinha
profissional

Laboratórios profissionais de química alimentar

Laboratórios profissionais de ciências da vida

Laboratórios profissionais de computação

CASE STUDIES
PROJETOS DE I&D ALIMENTAR

Notícias

CFER Labs has collaborated with Why Not Soda on the technical development of their first flavour, Lemon'Mate. We had the chance to interview Nils Schwentkowsi (NS), the company co-founder and business manager, and ask him some questions about the company's vision, business model and, also, his feedback about the collaboration with CFER Labs.

CFER: So the market for craft sodas in Germany is well established, but in Portugal you found that was a big gap. Can you tell us a little bit more how “why not soda” started and how consumers presently perceive the brand?

NS: I saw the soft drink market in Germany changing massively during the last 20 years. Until I went to university there were only the big brands like Coca Cola and Pepsi, but then one, two, three alternative producers appeared on the market with more sophisticated ways of production, with more interesting flavors or just more interesting stories to tell. And now the shelves in regular supermarkets are full of different options. My wife and I we both became soda-fans, because the soda had less and less sugar and became more and more natural with new, interesting flavors.

We have been in Portugal many times before we moved here. We love the country, its people, its nature. But one thing we were missing and we could not find: There were no real alternative sodas on the market. Only these artificial ones full of sugar. So we decided: why not make better sodas here in Portugal – interesting flavors with only natural ingredients, less sugar, bio-certified. And so we did. We left our career, quit our secure jobs and told our friends that we would move to Portugal with our two little daughters to become soda producers without even speaking the language. You can imagine that most of them stared at us saying: why? Well, you know our answer: why not! We believe that one should constantly look for new experiences. They do not necessarily have to be as life-changing as ours. But new experiences make you grow personally and make you feel alive. This is also what we want to transport with our brand and our story.

So, we had a slight feeling how to start without having any experience in this sector. We developed the recipe for our first flavor in the kitchen and then went to professionals to help us to have the right recipe for production. We found suppliers and very important a place to bottle here in Portugal, the fantastic guys from Cerveja Vadia. In June 2018 we produced our first batch, in August already the second. The feedback we received was super positive. Customers loved the refreshing and natural taste and the fact that it had less sugar.

In the end of 2018 we won a StartUp-Accelerator by Startup Lisbon and since then we are constantly growing in numbers of clients and sales. We won clients from the Algarve to the north and were listed in Go Natural as well as Continentes Innovation Food Lab. During the Startup Programm we also met the CEO of Delta Cafes, Rui Miguel Nabeiro. He liked our spirit, speed and most importantly the product. So we decided to run a sales trial in 2019. And now we started working together on a regular basis and they will start to distribute our products. We feel very just very honored to experience all of this – and of course motivated to keep on going. We will launch two more flavors in March and will start a whole family of Craft Soda, which we plan to constantly grow over the next years.

CFER: How do you feel the craft soda market will evolve over the next years both in Portugal as in Europe?

NS: Customers are looking for more “better-for-you-options”. They are more conscious about what they consume, but not in an extremist way. They still want to enjoy their lives. And we can also see a tendency towards the identification with local brands. Experience is what consumers are looking for in new products – especially the younger Generations. We deliver the right product for these demands. We use only natural, high quality ingredients, lower sugar and of course bio-certified. We produce in Portugal and we give fruits that everyone know and interesting twist in flavor for new taste experiences.

In northern Europe craft soda or alternative soft drinks are already a big thing and we are the first ones to bring this trend to Portugal. Well, the big player will always play a dominant role, but there is room for smaller producers to position themselves on the market. But most importantly, besides all market potential, for us it is just a lot of fun to develop, produce and sell soda. It is a product with a good spirit. We love it.



CFER: As a research and innovation company, CFER is helping brands like Why Not reaching the market with even more innovative foods and beverages, while supporting their technical development. Could you describe us the importance of CFER as a technical partner during your trajectory up so far?

NS: As said before, we had help of professionals to make our ideas and recipes ready for production, because making soda in the kitchen is not the same as producing millions of bottles. Of course we are not there yet, but soon, of course. When we arrived here in Portugal we needed someone here, we could challenge our new ideas with, do adjustments to existing recipes, try new ingredients from new suppliers our just talk about questions of production processes. Craft soda making is constant work in progress, because you have to come up with new ideas and make your business better and better. So, we were looking for a partner we could exactly do all these things with. In CFER and especially in you, Daniel, we found a guy who knows what he is doing and we enjoyed running the first smaller project. We can recommend your service for young companies who want to do the next step, but also for bigger fishes, because you guys also have some good ideas.

CFER: As a F&B start-up founder competing on a global, demanding market, how important do you consider product innovation to be in order to gain competitive advantage over similar products?

NS: The interesting aspect about craft soda is that you always have to come up with new flavors – may they stay in your portfolio or just be a seasonal edition. It is like with the craft beers. Go to a Taproom, it is full of interesting references. As a craft soda producer, I feel with soda it is the same. The creative, the innovative win.



CFER: How do you see your brand expanding in the next five years? Are there any strategic, international markets for “why not soda”?

NS: Of course, we have our strategic plan and there are interesting markets, but first we need to make our homework here in Portugal and work hard. If you can make it here, you can make it everywhere. We want to win the Portuguese for our soda experience.

CFER: Many thanks for your time. We wish prosperous growth for your business and we are looking forward for many more exciting “why not soda” flavors!

NS: Live long and prosper – drink more organic craft soda made in Portugal, why not!
Cover picture: in Dinheiro Vivo (Reinaldo Rodrigues/Global imagens)
As most of the foods we consume today, the product consists not only in the edible part but also in the packaging. In the immense world of packaging, the most used material is plastic, due to its good mechanical properties, flexibility, low weight and cheap cost of production. A recent study shows that the global production of plastics was raised from 2 million tons in the 1950’s to 348 million tones in 2017 and 359 million tons in 2018(1). However, in all stages of plastic’s lifetime, from extraction to recycling, a great amount of greenhouse gases are produced. While these gas emissions aren’t the only problem related to plastics, one of the biggest issues are the micro and nano plastics freed during its degradation in natural environment. These microplastics harden the CO2 absorption from the oceans, promoting an atmospheric CO2 regulation imbalance, ultimately climbing the food chain and potentially affecting the human health.

How can we prevent plastic misuse?


There are three possible destinies for all the waste we deposit in the plastic recycling container:

  • Being actually recycled, renewing packages and other useful sub-products;

  • Being incinerated for energy reuse;

  • Being dumped in a landfill.


Of course, the landfills are the worst possible solution, and thus the most avoided one. A 2017 study(2) shows that in Europe are produced about 25 million tons of plastic, and of those 25 million, 39.5% were incinerated, 30.8% end up in a landfill and just 29.7% are really recycled. A promising method uses Polyethylene (PE) as a carbon source for the production of Carbon Nano Tubes (CNT’s) by a laboratorial technique called Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD).

What are carbon nanotubes? 


CNT’s are emerging as powerful, flexible and resistant semiconductors. Their industrial application will seriously upgrade solar cell’s yield in photovoltaic panels, the production of display devices like TV screens, touch screens, transistors and others, increasing lithium ion battery’s yield and much more(3)(4)(5).

Carbon atom’s bounds are very strong and for that reason the mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes are also very strong, allowing future ropes and cables to be extremely strong, almost unbreakable.

Small fibers of nanotubes could be used as reinforcement agents of composite materials, increasing their resistance to traction or flexible forces.

How are CNT’s produced?


There are several ways to produce carbon nanotubes but the most promising method, in terms of scalability, is the method of Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) (6).

On a controlled environment, little fragments of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) are chosen. Then, they are heated to temperatures between 600oC-1000oC (7) and they are mixed with a catalyst that reduces the boiling temperature of LDPE. Once boiling, the vapor is transferred to another chamber where the temperature is lower. This will force the vapor to condensate. In the presence of a catalyst like a sheet of graphene, the rich carbonaceous vapor slowly deposits its carbon atoms onto the graphene surface forming nanotubes.

However, the growth control of this structures is still very limited. It is hard to estimate what is going to be the length, width and direction of these tubes, and that is still a challenge that needs to be surpassed so that the full potential of carbon nanotubes can be put to use.

This method is presently only developed in a laboratorial enviroment, but it is the most likely to be scaled in a near future due to its lower applied temperatures. Other methods, like laser ablation, employ much higher temperatures and demanding conditions.


Other solutions 


Recent advances in bio-fabrication technologies have led several startups to grow exponentially over the last decade, some of them focusing in plastic replacement.

A great substitute of Polystyrene (PS) consists on the compaction of a specific species of mushrooms. It is almost equal to polystyrene, but biodegradable. It was developed by the American company Ecovative and early adopted as packaging solutions for Dell’s products, accommodating technologic products such as computers and accessories. It was later adopted by IKEA in 2016.

As replacement of ethylene, small seaweed-based plastic bubbles were developed, and these can be used to encapsulate every kind of sauce or stable liquid, like water or juice. Being an edible and biodegradable packaging solution, created by Notpla, many fast food chains and retail markets have adopted the invention.

There is still a lot to be done, especially regarding consumer education. General population needs to be educated and informed about what is happening around the world, what are the consequences of inaction, what are the conditions where food is produced and with critical thinking decide if the simple act of buying a specific food can be harmful for someone or something, somewhere on the other side of the world.

There’s a great need to fight ignorance and lack of reliable information, not only in poor countries but also in rich and developed ones. Many companies and public entities work daily to provide knowledge and information to the general public and CFER Labs is one of them.

Written by André Azevedo - https://www.linkedin.com/in/andr%C3%A9-azevedo-668064163/
Bibliography

(1) Shen, M., Huang, W., Chen, M., Song, B., Zeng, G., & Zhang, Y. (2020). (Micro)plastic crisis: Un-ignorable contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Journal of Cleaner Production, 254, 120138. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JCLEPRO.2020.120138
(2) Ragaert, K., Delva, L., & Van Geem, K. (2017). Mechanical and chemical recycling of solid plastic waste. Waste Management, 69, 24–58. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.WASMAN.2017.07.044
(3) Grace, T., Shearer, C., Tune, D., Yu, L., Batmunkh, M., Biggs, M. J., … Shapter, J. G. (2017). Use of Carbon Nanotubes in Third-Generation Solar Cells. Industrial Applications of Carbon Nanotubes, 201–249. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323- 41481-4.00008-3
(4) Jiang, K. (2017). Carbon Nanotubes for Displaying. Industrial Applications of Carbon Nanotubes, 101–127. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-41481-4.00004-6
(5) Fang, S., Shen, L., & Zhang, X. (2017). Application of Carbon Nanotubes in Lithium-Ion Batteries. Industrial Applications of Carbon Nanotubes, 251–276. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-41481-4.00009-5
(6) Wu, X., Mu, F., & Zhao, H. (2019). Recent progress in the synthesis of graphene/CNT composites and the energy-related applications. Journal of Materials Science & Technology. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.JMST.2019.05.063
(7) Ahmad, M., & Silva, S. R. P. (2020). Low temperature growth of carbon nanotubes – A review. Carbon, 158, 24–44. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.CARBON.2019.11.061
The year of 2019 reinforced our desire to continue our mission to create ever better, healthier, more natural and greener foods and beverages. From multinational producers to new entrepreneurs on the international food scene, CFER has been able to meet the challenges posed by its customers by constantly meeting targets and exceeding expectations.

With over 20 new projects and 5 new products on the market developed by our team, 2019 was a year of affirmation, growth and development of business relationships that we are truly proud of; within these, we have welcomed many partnerships with new entrepreneurs, with whom we have so enthusiastically been exploring the creation of exciting new products and the stimulation of new business models in the food and drinks business.

The year ahead is full of ambitious goals. We are attentive to new markets and the possibility of starting CFER's presence in them, especially those that focus more on innovation and food technology. We also want to strengthen our involvement in healthy lifestyle communication initiatives, based on a diverse and balanced diet, where innovation can play a central role. The year of 2020 will also mark the year in which we will launch our first ingredients and products on the market, with a clear focus on the natural and organic, clean-label, vegan / vegetarian and functional food sectors; for this, CFER counts on its strategic partners that will ensure the commercialization and distribution of the products that are being gradually crafted by our innovation team.

Many reasons make us dream with a 2020 packed with many exciting challenges, achievements and criative moments. Let us toast to a great 2019 and to an exciting 2020 designed by new horizons.

Daniel Abegão
Founder of CFER Labs

 

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