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Development of a new premium beverage: sparkling mead from Brazilian native bees' honey

Grant number: 22/04784-5
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: August 01, 2022 - July 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology
Principal Investigator:Juliana Massimino Feres
Grantee:Juliana Massimino Feres
Host Company:Mira Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Fabricação de vinho
Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
City: São Carlos
Associated researchers:Paulo Renato Matos Lopes
Associated research grant:19/09109-1 - Development of a new premium beverage: sparkling wine from Brazilian native bees honey, AP.PIPE
Associated scholarship(s):22/11655-7 - Development of a new premium beverage: sparkling wine from Brazilian native bees honey, BP.PIPE


Beekeeping is a national vocation. Brazil is the sixth largest producer of honey in the world with approximately 41 tons per year, and the eighth largest exporter of this product. The most expressive portion of this activity is carried out by the exotic bee Apis mellifera. Recently this important agro-industrial activity has expanded mainly with regard to the creation of native Brazilian bee species. This activity is called Meliponiculture and its growth is primarily due to the promotion new management techniques, regulation of this activity and interest in these products in the local consumer market. Native bees are very diverse in their morphological, ecological and behavioral aspects. This diversity is reflected in these products, whether in pollen, propolis and especially in honey, which have unique characteristics and are increasingly appreciated by the haute cuisine segment. In addition to the unmatched organoleptic characteristics, these products also have a wide range of components functional properties (e.g. anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and others) being highly appreciated by consumers of natural and healthy products. The final objective of this project is the development of a new category of beverages using as raw material the products obtained by Meliponiculture. We aim to develop two sparkling wines made from the fermentation of native bees honey with the addition of pollen. With the development of these drinks, we seek to offer consumers a new option of natural sparkling wines with an appeal to healthiness, made from national raw materials, promoting the production chain and adding value to products from this restorative activity. During the first stage development of this project (PIPE phase 1) we endeavored to resolve the main points of uncertainty, being technical, scientific and marketing of the fermentation of these honeys drinks. So, we carried out an extensive chemical characterization of the raw materials, developed and tested 12 different recipes and confirmed the viability of alcoholic fermentation of these raw materials, producing pleasant drinks that are widely appreciated by the public. We observed that the functional constituents present in the honey (flavonoids, essential amino acids and peptides) are maintained in the beverage after fermentation and that, among the bouquet of volatile compounds, substances with floral and fruity aromas are usually identified in analyzes of white and red wines (Partial report phase 1). Sensory analysis was conducted within the potential product target consumer. The identification of this public was carried out with the mentors during the PIPE-Entrepreneur course offered by FAPESP, consisting of final consumers and some haute cuisine chefs. Some professionals who own a famous chain of restaurants in São Paulo were enthusiastic about the project and were willing to collaborate in the development of the drink during the next stage foreseen for phase 2 of the PIPE financing, they also claimed interest in commercializing the product as soon as it is finalized. In this new stage of development, we intend to fine-tune the recipes, define the parameters for finalizing the drink and for scale production. With regard to the adjustment of recipes, we seek greater efficiency in the fermentation process and, as a result, a drink with adequate alcohol content and dry finish. We will evaluate gasification and maturation methods, besides preservation techniques. Finally, studies will be developed for scale production in order to enable the commercialization of the innovation described here. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa para Inovação FAPESP about research grant:
Startup develops sparkling beverage from honey produced by Brazilian native bees 
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