Vien has received the United States Patent Awards for a series of freeze dried beverages from Vietnamese vegetables and fruits over the past two months. He has submitted his license for the procedures to the Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam.
On June 9, 2020 his freeze drying technology was patented by the U.S. (U.S. No. 10,676,797 B1). He applied this formula with sugarcane and fermented sugarcane juice, successfully preserving the sweetness and Vietnamese identity.
He has continued his ambition to freeze dried domestic fruit juices, vegetables, and medicinal herbs into powder.
“It is my dream for public health,” Vien said.
Vinamit’s freeze-dried sugarcane juice. Photo by Vinamit.
Vien’s idea of making a freeze dried drink comes from the message of his daughter, Sophie, who is living in the U.S.
“Her colleague at the hospital boasted about her trip to the Vietnamese market, where she could drink sugarcane juice as much as she wanted”. Then Sophie texted him: “I crave the sugarcane juice from our hometown. I miss the time when I came home, you drove me to a familiar shop. Pure, sweet and delicious,” Vien recalled.
His daughter’s message kept him awake for many nights, thinking about how to send her fresh, pure sugarcane juice. In the next months, Sophie kept sending him documents about new American beverage trends – fresh, nutritious juices, with prebiotics, minerals, vitamins, probiotics that retain their color, odor and taste.
“The drink had no food additives, preservatives, no flavor added or artificial color, just like a cup of Vietnamese sugarcane juice,” he described.
As a professional food processor, Vien knew Sophie was talking about beverage trends in 2021 and the future. From there, he embarked on “making original cane juice” for his daughter.
The journey is quite arduous, involving many elements from appearance, taste, to microbial elements, microorganisms. Every day he talked with groups of biology, biomedical and nutrition experts to specialists in equipment, technology, testing and experiments.
After harvesting the organic sugarcane, he entered the processing stage. After importing the necessary machines, Vien disassembled and added special features, then took the semi-finished products to the lab. The most difficult stage is keeping living bacteria, enzymes, minerals, prebiotics … ensuring their highest value.
Organic sugarcane farming. Photo by Vinamit.
“I read a lot of related documents, but there is no country like Vietnam, where people cut the sugarcane, hold the whole tree, eat it raw or peel it and roll it into an instant drink,” the Vinamit’s president said.
“A healthy product must be organic. The cane must be freshly harvested, squeezed, and dried. The process is closed to keep the nutrients and essence of the sugarcane plant without using additives, flavors or preservatives.”
Despite difficulties, he envisioned a future where people all around the world could enjoy pure Vietnamese sugarcane juice.
“They would like healthy drinks with good immune support, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic becomes more and more complicated,” Vien persisted.
Over the past three years, he has continuously experimented, transformed and created various stages in the technological process, using vacuum natural radiant thermoelectric gas to IOT automation software.
To apply for the patent in the U.S., he must present a scientific, unambiguous 250 articles describing his inventions. After a year, U.S. authorities announced they had carried out the process of reviewing, approving and confirming his technology was brand new, and not copied from anyone else.
“Love, nostalgia for my children motivated me to step through the thorns. Love for my job and the desire to conquer challenges … have strengthened me to cross new paths,” Vien said.
Vinamit chairman Nguyen Lam Vien. Photo by Vinamit.
Starting with sugarcane juice, he is now continuing to process and bring to the market a chain of dried, original products of other Vietnamese fruits and vegetables. “Our mission is to bring a new lifestyle, health and youth, thereby helping people become more and more successful and happier,” he said.
Vien hopes that in the next five years, the company would attain access to more than 50 million users, comprising 30 million Vietnamese and 20 million international customers.
To promote Vietnamese brand awareness and bring products to global customers, he connects with Amazon, Alibaba… and many e-commerce platforms, large online business systems. This step is important and urgent in the digital age, in line with the changing behavior and buying process of consumers.
His strategy is to produce food and drink chains that keep the original and simple taste, without flavorings, additives, chemicals or preservatives.
“I believe what is organic will be good for health. Most importantly, we must immediately register for copyrights, apply for patents to protect our achievements and brainpower,” he emphasized.
Vien hopes to contribute to the country’s agriculture with creativity and methodical steps in the world market, as a Vietnamese science enterprise applying new technologies.
“On the basis of ‘agriculture for life’, a series of products launched with the freeze-dried invention can help the Vietnamese community and global consumers share their knowledge and experience of proper diets. It can cure many diseases caused by nutritional imbalances such as indigestion, chronic diseases, help people regain health, natural beauty and joy of life,” Vien said.