Rossiyskaya Gazeta: Altai State University learned to "dry" honey to make lollipops

20 February 2021 Department of Information and Media Communications
Rossiyskaya Gazeta has reported that Altai State University scientists and students figured out how to make functional food more convenient to use, and most importantly, tasty.

They created natural lollipops with a concentrated content of honey, berries and medicinal herbs, with which you can quickly replenish the supply of vitamins and trace elements in the body. A small enterprise that will produce such healthy lollipops is already "growing" in the student business incubator of the university.

The lollipops, developed by Altai scientists, contain only honey, berries and fruits (see the picture).

“We have conducted research and found out that “fashionable” functional food is not in fact in great demand in the market,” Vitaly Tsarev, Head of the AltSU business incubator development team, told the RG correspondent. “The reason is simple; it is tasteless. Few people are ready to eat sprouted grains and plant-based meat every day. Even healthy teas are statistically consumed by only one percent of tea ceremony lovers. Therefore, in order to increase the demand for healthy food, it is necessary to improve its taste. We decided to try to create such a product, because modern technologies today allow us to process natural raw materials, preserving all of their properties.

The laboratory of industrial pharmacy and supercritical fluid technologies of Altai State University worked to transform honey into a solid state, using vacuum-impulse drying. Then berries and fruits boiled by the method of subcritical extraction were added to it - raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, apples, and lemon with ginger. The result is completely natural lollipops with a high content of vitamins and trace elements.

“We have already patented  the development and certified the product according to European standards with an eye to export, and even released trial batches,” said Vitaly Tsarev. “We have sent samples to different cities of the country from Moscow to Vladivostok to study the demand. Consumers welcomed the healthy lollipops. Now the main problem is to launch mass production.

Trial batches were produced in the laboratory. But to scale up the project, modern production lines are needed, so the scientists plan to register a small enterprise at the university and apply for a grant to build a plant for deep processing of plant and medicinal raw materials in the Charysh region. In this foothill area there is an agricultural cooperative that prepares environmentally friendly raw materials for a new product - honey, wild berries and medicinal herbs. On its basis, they plan to build a small plant, if they manage to get grant funds - up to 70 million rubles for the development of the material and technical base of the agricultural cooperative.

"We are preparing an application for a grant to launch high technology production. Honey lollipops are just the first step. In the future, we want to expand the range of functional products by introducing extracts of medicinal herbs into their composition. But it will not be a medicine or dietary supplements, but food that will support the body in difficult periods, for example, during a seasonal rise in morbidity, or in a period of  increased loads,'' scientists explained.

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