A research collaboration between two lecturers and a student of the Faculty of Agriculture and Business of Satya Wacana Christian University (UKSW) in Salatiga, Central Java, has successfully resulted in an invention of beetroot tea bag, which recently has been successfully granted patent protection by the Directorate General of Intellectual Property (DGIP).
The research was initiated as a response to a problem of beetroot overproduction, which is one of the local agricultural commodities in Sumberejo Village of the district of Ngablak, Magelang Regency, Central Java. A team from UKSW consisting of lecturers Yoga Aji Handoko and Bistok Hasiholan Simanjuntak, as well as student Noviesta Ari Morrista, later conducted a research in the village from the beginning of 2018 through to the mid of 2019 to find solution to the problem, particularly as to how to economically use the excess yields.
The research elaborated on the option to process the excess beetroots into practical beverage products that contain both health as well as commercial benefit. The outcome was beetroot teabag, which according the researchers is rich in antioxidants as well as containing vitamin C and betacyanin. The researchers also managed to reduce the strong dirt aroma and flavor that are generally attributed as to why many people resent fresh beetroots due to the presence of geosmin compound, and the end result is claimed to embody the taste similar to sweet corn.
A patent application was later filed to the DGIP on November 11, 2019, for the invention titled “Production Process of Beetrot Tea Bag and the resulting Product”, under application number P00201910671. The patent application was filed in the name of UKSW, naming the three researchers as the inventors. The grant date is November 30, 2022, under registration number IDP000084368.
Following the patent application filing, in 2020 the Faculty of Agriculture and Business of UKSW entered into an agreement with the village government of Sumberejo, in which agreed that – among others – UKSW is committed to assist and facilitate the village population to prepare and build a micro-scale enterprise focusing on the commercialization of the beetroot tea bag.
According to one of the researchers, at the moment they are assisting the villagers to obtain proper certification for food and beverage products, that is mandatory prior to market scale commercialization. They are also in the middle of devising branding components for the product, which also include trademark registration for the brand name.
In the future, the researchers hope that more options for beetroots and other commodities commercialization can soon be available through scientific research collaboration.