A new and sustainable cereal bar (named SOcrock) was created in the context of EcoTrophelia, an European competition originated from the EcoTroFood project (from the European Commission’s Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme) and dedicated to student teams for creating prototype of food products with quality and environmentally friendly aspects.
The designed product recipe consisted only of white sorghum, powdered grape seeds, honey, and dark chocolate. This essential composition was formulated in order to boost nutritional added value such as presence of polyphenols, high fiber content, low level of sodium, and a low caloric intake, all within an organic product, free of gluten and preservatives.
A selected variety of white sorghum was the basic ingredient of the product: versatile, with nutritional properties similar to corn, sorghum has lower water requirements and withstands high temperatures brilliantly. In this product sorghum was transformed and used in three forms: as blown grain, as syrup (obtained by enzymatic hydrolysis of the grains) and as fiber (by-product of syrup production). Further innovation was the direct inclusion of grape seeds (by-products from distillery) that represents a simple solution for the recovery of low cost bio-active compounds. The preparation of the finished product was obtained by a semi-industrial processing line consisting in a cooker equipment (with hollow space in a diathermic oil bath) complete of planetary system and overturning head, cooling tunnel, and heat sealing packaging machine. The product impact on the ecosystem in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, water use, and exploitation of natural resources was evaluated. It resulted in a Type II environmental label which highlighted the product always falls in the best categories for sustainability. The developed product was awarded the bronze prize at the 2013 EcoTrophelia European final.