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Award winning invention will do away with millions of single-use plastic bottles & cut Co2 emissions

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Clare Campbell Shirley Prof Congdon Richard Doyle Prof Anant Paradkar

A University of Bradford invention is set to remove the need for millions of single-use plastic bottles and tubes, bring increased environmental and health benefits and vastly reduce logistics costs and bring health benefits.

The award winning ‘crystal engineering’ technology - marketed under the registered trademarks EfferShield® and EfferShine® - is being described as the biggest shift in the manufacturing process of effervescent products for over 100 years.  

Products will be produced under trademark by Skipton-based Health Innovations and Liversedge-based Octopoda Innovations.  

In practical terms, it will mean:-  

  • Huge Co2 savings during manufacturing, as tablets no longer need to be made in dehumidified conditions  
  • Vast reduction in transport costs, like cleaning fluids and other water-based products, can now be transported in dry tablet form  
  • A huge reduction in the salt content of things like vitamin tablets and other supplements – some tablets currently contain more than twice the salt content of two bags of crisps  
  • No need for millions of single-use plastic bottles and tubes, as dry tablets can now be taken home and dissolved in a ‘bottle for life’  
  • Tablets can be sold in environmentally friendly compostable packaging  

Prof Anant Paradkar holding an Effershield tablet

Professor of Pharmaceutical Engineering Anant Paradkar, director of the University’s Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science (CPES), said the breakthrough had global significance.  

He said: “This is a major achievement for our University that has global significance in terms of turning the tide on the use of single-use plastics, and reducing the carbon footprint of products, both during manufacturing and transportation. It also enables manufacturers to drastically reduce the salt content of certain products.”

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Shirley Congdon said: “This highlights the innovation that can come about through long term knowledge exchange partnerships between the University and industry, that deliver tangible results for the end user, industry, and the environment. I am particularly excited by the environmental and health benefits this new product will bring to the market.” 

Clare Campbell Prof Anant Paradkar and Prof Shirley Congdon

Clare Campbell, managing director of Health Innovations, said: “Following significant investment and collaboration, we are excited to be introducing groundbreaking, patent protected manufacturing technology into the effervescent market that creates new innovation for product and sustainable packaging opportunities. 

“Our exclusive licensing agreement allows Health Innovations to grow its business in the UK and international markets whilst expanding our product portfolio with the addition of Effervescent tablets.”  

Richard Doyle, managing director of Octopoda Innovations, added: “After five years of development we are thankful and appreciative of the support of Innovate UK, Professor Paradkar, the University of Bradford and the Health Innovations Group, and look forward to continuing to work with our partners to bring this technology to market.”  

Prof Anant Paradkar talking to colleagues

How it works  

EfferShield® and EfferShine® are the trademarks of a patented innovation that will completely change the way effervescent products (EPs) are manufactured. EPs contain citric acid and sodium bicarbonate which react together during manufacturing at relatively low humidity levels.   

In order to avoid chemical reactions during manufacture, EPs are made under dehumidified conditions, which uses lots of energy and is, therefore, both expensive and harmful in terms of Co2 emissions. EPs also have to be packed in moisture-resistant packagings, such as plastic tubes and bottles, many of which are deemed ‘single use’.  

Prof Paradkar, from the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, said: “The technology effectively prevents the chemical reaction taking place and as such a range of products including eco – chemical and cleaning developments, agricultural products and specifically food and pharmaceutical tablets no longer need to be manufactured in dehumidified conditions. They can now be made much more easily in dry tablet form, taken home, and added to water, resulting in significant logistics cost savings. In addition, packaging can now be plastic-free and home compostable.”    

EPSRC, Innovate UK and Local Enterprise Partnership's Access Innovation Scheme assisted in funding part of the research that led to the scientific breakthrough behind Effershield® and Effershine® via research grants.    

The technology has been exclusively licensed to Octopoda Innovations Ltd, based in Liversedge. Octopoda Innovations will formulate, develop, and manufacture cleaning products utilising the Effershine® technology.  Health Innovations Group, based in Skipton, is the licensed partner to manufacture, formulate and develop effervescent products in the food and pharma sector utilising the EfferShield® technology.  

Award winning

CPES recently won the 'Making Pharmaceuticals Award' in the 'Innovation in Manufacturing' category at the Making Pharmaceuticals Excellence Awards scheduled on 26 April.

EfferShield® Technology also won the Bionow Project of the Year Award, in 2019.

CPES, Octopoda Innovations, and Health Innovations have all been shortlisted for the University’s own internal awards for Outstanding Research, which take place on 5 May.

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