NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 B3.04-7877
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Food and Galley
PROPOSAL TITLE: Enhancing the Processing Characteristics of Edible Beans

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Chi's Research Corporation
5354 Beachside Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55343-4117
(952)945-0230

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Uchenna Chukwu
doctoru@usfamily.net
5354 Beachside Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55343-4117
(952)945-0230

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Advanced life-support systems, which use chemical, physical, and biological processes, are being developed to support future long-term human planetary exploration. As a result, there is a need to develop innovative food processes for baseline crops, such as dry beans (legumes) that have a shelf-life of more than one year and can support human life during extended space travel. Legumes are hydrated in large volumes of water to about 50% moisture to help reduce process times. Hydration is lengthy often requiring more than 8 hours using room temperature water, or boiling water for 2-3 minutes followed by soaking for at least one hour. Additionally, long cooking times ranging from about 30 minutes to over 2 hours are also required. We propose a reduction in the time, energy, and water requirements for processing legumes by using a novel combination of food grade carbohydrases to enhance the processing characteristics of legumes (Pinto, Navy and Kidney beans) prior to implementation of conventional (boiling, cooking, canning or microwaving) techniques.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Long-duration, shelf-stable food: Food-grade enzymes can be used to develop highly acceptable, shelf-stable food items derived from other plant-based food sources.
Food Processing: Food-grade enzymes can be applied to baseline crops, such as beans, wheat, soybeans, rice, and other grains to reduce the time, water, and energy requirements during processing.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
Market and commercialize the high-fiber, gas-free beans as functional foods to consumers and bean processors.

Develop a food processing aid, tentatively termed "Vegizyme" containing the proprietary blend of enzymes.

License and/or sell Vegizyme to consumers engaged in home preparation of beans.

License the technology to bean processors and other food manufacturers.