As the weather warms up, finding a cool drink to quench your summer thirst is often necessary. There are trendy drinks and hip beverages. There are also innovative thirst-quenchers and ingenious pick-me-ups.
Food tech is a hot marketplace right now. And within this area of innovation is the beverage market.
“Israeli entrepreneurs understand that food tech has a great impact on our lives and on the environment,” Amir Zaidman, VP of business development at the Kitchen Hub, tells NoCamels. “Israel has been a leader in food innovation for years out of necessity. In Israel, we have to have expertise in everything because of our geopolitical situation. We have a very strong knowledge base in all aspects of food, biotech, and agriculture technologies.”
Indeed, Israeli entrepreneurs are brewing new and innovative plant-based drinks, reduced sugar beverages, protein-enhanced water, and fresher juices to fill your glass.
NoCamels serves up four drinks with a splash of Israeli ingenuity.
O.Vine alcohol-free, wine-flavored water
If you’re looking for a wine-flavored, alcohol-free glass of Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon, the Rosh Pina-based Wine Water company, parent firm of O.Vine, can oblige.
Flavor-infused water is a go-to in the hot months. O.Vine Wine Essence Water uses upcycled wine grape residue in its two new drinks. They’re getting their official release at the Summer Fancy Food Show on June 23-25 in New York.
“We see O.Vine essence water as a big winner in the United States,” Bill Sipper, Managing Partner at Cascadia Managing Brands, said in a press statement. “It aligns with what millennials are seeking — products that are organic, made by companies that respect the environment. Millennials also are drinking less alcohol. This combination makes O.Vine an all-around winner.”
The grapes are sourced from Galilee vineyards. “The environment in which the grapes are grown, the quality of the earth, and the impeccable climate are factors that determine the flavor, color, body, and aroma of wines; likewise is our fine wine water collection,” says Anat Levi, CEO and founder of Wine Water. “Chardonnay grapes grown in different locations will inherit distinctive characteristics that are very different from one another.”
“The new beverage duo emanates from single grape varieties,” says Levi. ”The Cabernet has a dark, red fruity character with a note of chocolate and a gentle tart twist. The Chardonnay imparts more tones of lime and apple, with notes of caramel. Both are equally refreshing and delicious.”
O.Vine debuted its wine grape water infusions last year. It won “Best New Water” concept award at the prestigious Global Bottled Water Congress in Evian, France.
The drinks are already sold in the US, and are set to launch in the UK and France.
Better juice with less-sugar
Better Juice, based out of Ashdod, is disrupting the juice market with its innovative solution that reduces sugar (sucrose, glucose and fructose) in all types of fruit juice.
A glass of fruit juice may sound delicious on a summer’s day but on average each glass contains 10-12 percent sugar.
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Better Juice says its biotech solution that changes the molecular structure of monosaccharides (“simple sugars”) and disaccharides (double sugars or bivose) lets industrial juice producers lower or eliminate sugar.
“While the process does slightly reduce the sweetness of the juice,” food industry expert Dr. Eran Blachinsky and CEO of Better Juice, told NoCamels in April, “it actually brings out more of the fruit flavor, making for a better-tasting juice product overall.”
WakeUp with plant-based alertness
Energy drinks suffer a bad rap for their high count of sugar and caffeine. That’s why InnoBev, a small Israeli outfit, developed and patented a different method for providing an “awakening effect” with its plant-based alertness formula.
The WakeUp formula is based on natural standardized extracts from guarana, ginkgo biloba, elderberry, and a unique apple sugar. Clinical trials have shown that this non-caffeinated beverage can help counteract fatigue and balance the body’s circadian rhythm.
Inno-Bev received a US patent approval in 2018, “at a time when energy drinks are under renewed scrutiny due to concerns over negative health effects associated with overconsumption, and when major beverage brands are investing huge sums in healthy, science-based beverages,” Eli Faraggi, founder and CEO of Inno-Bev, said in a press statement.
Faraggi told NoCamels that Frutarom-IFF is in a joint venture with Inno-Bev and they’ll soon be introducing WakeUp as a base formula.
Keep your eyes on the supermarket shelves for new drinks with a shot of the WakeUp formula.
Flavored water with proteins
Amai Proteins is collaborating with PepsiCo (which owns SodaStream) to add its designer protein in place of sugars in the SodaStream syrups. The Israeli biotech company is one of a growing number of food-technology firms seeking to develop sweet sugar substitutes.
“There’s no question that sugar is public enemy number one. Today, sugar kills more people than gunpowder. Sugar is slow suicide,” Dr. Ilan Samish, founder and CEO of Amai Proteins, told NoCamels in October last year. His company is developing an innovative alternative to sugar and present-day artificial sweeteners.
Amai is producing a healthy sweetener that will be added to the SodaStream.
Viva Sarah Press is a journalist and speaker. She writes and talks about the creativity and innovation taking place in Israel and beyond. www.vivaspress.com