Flyhidrate is a unique three drink in-flight beverage system designed to mitigate the physiological stresses of flying. The Flyhidrate drinks are now used by national rugby teams and other elite athletes for their international travel. The beverages sytem was recognised with innovations awards at a 2012 airline industry Middle East trade fair and the 2013 NZ Juice and Beverage Awards.
The drink functionality is designed to improved hydration, provide circulation assistance and mitigate the effects of altitude. The drink was developed collaboratively with the Flyhidrate Ltd team, nutrition consultants and the University of Otago’s School of Physical Education and the Product Development Research Centre.
The major role of the Product Development Research Centre was not to only formulate three drinks to meet the design brief with its required functionality, but also to make the final formulations and ingredient selection acceptable to consumers. To do this the formulations were carefully balanced and optimised with taste masking techniques, after which consumer acceptability trials took place on flights between Auckland and Los Angeles. Based on the feedback received, the formulations were modified to be commercially acceptable.
For the Flyhidrate project major responsibilities included: contributing to functional ingredient selection, providing advice on manufacture conditions to ensure stability, formulation of laboratory batches for the double blind laboratory-based in-flight simulation and for production scale up assessment.