Frank Cleophas develops preservation method without additives
“I am my own director,” says Frank Cleophas of the one-man business Smartfood Technology. He has discovered a new method of preserving food for which he has submitted several patent applications. “My technique requires less food additives.”
Mr. Cleophas has been working in the food sector for 20 years, five of which as an interim-consultant. “I would come across all kinds of research questions, and the funny thing is that my solutions were completely different to those devised by the companies I worked for.”
Shelf life of food products
My work life is either hectic or quiet, so during one of these slower periods Mr. Cleophas, who was originally a pastry cook, started researching the perishabililty of food products. He explains, “I hardly had any time left for my other work. The situation went from bad to worse. One day I simply even told a client that I didn’t have time to help him. I was completely absorbed in the research work. I couldn’t continue like this. So I found several parties who were willing to invest in Smartfood, as a result of which I am able to fully focus on my research and to develop new applications for the food technology sector. The investors earn their back money as a share of the profit.”
Less sour Russian salad
The autodidact, who followed a part-time higher-education study in food technology and management, currently has several patent applications. “The old methods of preservation are canning, boiling or using acid, like with pickles. Food products are often shrouded in preservatives. My method, which is widely-applicable, requires less food additives and does not require specific equipment.”
According to Cleophas it is even possible to create new products based on the technology. “A lot of food products are acidified to increase their shelf life. Russian salad is preserved by adding mayonnaise, this gives it a sour and slightly chemical taste. My method of preservation makes the Russian salad taste less sour, but ensures it has a long shelf life. Sometimes the shelf life of the food product is even increased through the application of our technology.
Whipped cream outside the fridge
The great thing about my method is that we can apply the technology to an existing process. Whereas the opposite usually happens: to manufacture new or different products, this often requires companies to invest in expensive, new processes. I make clever use of the properties of the raw materials. In theory, whipped cream is even preservable outside the refrigerator.”
Patent office with an international network
Different parties are interested in marketing Mr. Cleophas’s invention. How did he find EP&C? “I was looking for an organisation with an international network to submit my patent application. I visited the professionals of EP&C at their Rijswijk office and we immediately hit it off.” He expects his new technology to be introduced on the market in 2009.
May 2008 – Technology Newspaper