Free The Water

Xinova seeks the disclosure of inventions that produce sheetable doughs using vegetable puree.
Submission Deadline


Summary: Xinova seeks the disclosure of inventions that produce sheetable doughs using vegetable puree.

Cracker dough using vegetable puree is too wet and sticky for mass production. Too bad, because consumers want healthier baked snacks that incorporate that flavor and nutrition benefits of vegetables. PepsiCo is seeking ways to manage the watery dough problem so vegetables can be included into sheets of dough and baked like traditional crackers.

Some vegetable purees contain about 85% water. However, that water is hard to access because, unlike the unbound water in dough, the vege puree’s moisture is trapped within the vegetables’ cells and bound to fiber components.
Help us figure out how to unbind bound-water in vegetable purees to create “sheetable,” vege-puree dough using existing equipment.

To review the opportunity details, please click Accept Challenge above and register in the Xinova system. 



1.0 The Challenge


Problem Definition

PepsiCo wishes to manufacture baked snacks using vegetable puree, but the puree's excessive water content is not compatible with existing plant equipment and processes.

PepsiCo currently uses dough, which is approximately 50% water. The dough contains enough moisture to hydrate all dry ingredients (e.g. flours, starches) within the dough and produce a “sheetable” dough that can be easily processed, cut, and baked.

Vegetable purees typically contain 85-90% water. However, the water trapped within the vegetable cells of purees and bound to fiber components does not behave like the unbound water added to form dough and, thus, is not as effective in hydrating dry ingredients.

A mixture of dry ingredients and puree containing 50% of water by weight does not form sheetable dough like unbound water. Because of this, excess water is required to form a sheetable dough. Yet, this excess water must be removed by additional baking to achieve target water activity for shelf stability. In addition, excess water can lead to sticky dough resulting in processability issues. Finally, the resulted product often has undesired texture.

Additional baking and processing time as well as product and processability challenges with high-moisture dough make it difficult to produce snacks containing vegetable purees with existing plant equipment. Methods to produce sheetable doughs that can leverage the water contained in purees are desired.


Why This Problem Is Valuable to Solve

Figure 1.   Baked Lay’s, Source: PepsiCo

Consumers are demanding healthier snacks. They want less sugar, less salt, less artificial ingredients and less processing. They want a “clean label.” The use of vegetable purees to create snacks addresses this issue. PepsiCo can improve the health of its consumer by reducing the water content of the vegetable puree before it is mixed with the dough, PepsiCo can add more puree to the dough without exceeding the desired water content, leading to a healthier snack.


Accept this challenge to see additional background information and specific criteria for a solution, including what is in- and out-of-scope!



Awards for Selected Solutions

We will conduct a global review of your invention using a team of experts who will examine the technology, potential products, markets, future customers and existing landscape.

We will select the best proposed solutions gathered during the circulation period of this Challenge.

We will pay any awards in installments, as per your written and executed contract with us.



Please contact:

Xinova, LLC

311 1⁄2 Occidental Ave. S. Suite #300

Seattle, WA. 98104



Xinova Asia Pte. Ltd.

150 Beach Road, # 08-06/08, Gateway West Singapore 189720



Shivani Ludwig




Challenge Updates

8 Hours Remaining to Submit

July 10, 2019, 3:59 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

If you're still assembling your submission, you have exactly 8 hours left to complete it! 

Here's a Tip: HeroX recommends innovators plan to submit with at least a 3-hour window of time before the true deadline. Last-minute technical problems and unforeseen roadblocks have been the cause of many headaches. Don't let that be you!


Head over to Xinova's website to begin your entry now!

2 Days Remaining to Submit -- Last Minute Tips

July 8, 2019, 11:59 p.m. PDT by Kyla Jeffrey

We are quickly approaching the final days open for submission to the Free the Water Challenge. The deadline is Wednesday July 10th at 11:59 pm Eastern Time (New York/USA.) 

Here are a couple of last-minute tips for a smooth entry process:

1. You will be submitting via Xinova's website. Please ensure you register and complete their submission form here -->

2. Begin your submission process several days before the cutoff time. This allows you to ensure everything you have been working on can be seamlessly integrated into the form.

3. Review the Challenge Guidelines to ensure your submission is complete. 

4. Have any questions? Head over to the challenge forum and we would love to help you out. 

Thanks so much, and good luck to all!