In the posting, NineSigma says its mystery clients are looking for ingredients that can reduce stress or/and deliver a “feeling of happiness or a sense of satisfaction… a sense of exhilaration or a refreshed feeling… improved motivation or ability to concentrate”.
It adds: “The need for such functional foods, particularly ingredients that contribute to a healthy mind, is expected to further increase in the future... In particular, we welcome technology that has data to indicate how a particular ingredient effectively acts to promote the healthy mind.”
However, drugs and pharmaceuticals are outside the scope of the request.
Possible partners might be start-ups or SMEs with unique knowledge about materials derived from nature or Chinese medicines, or organizations that hold data demonstrating that a particular ingredient acts positively on the human mind or feelings, says NineSigma.
The posting does not say which clients NineSigma is representing, but a recent patent application from PepsiCo indicates that leading food and beverage firms are taking a close interest in natural ingredients that can enhance energy, well-being and mood.
Click HERE for details of the PepsiCo application, which shows the firm is exploring the potential of natural energy drinks containing Chinese herbal extracts that can alleviate fatigue and enhance sports performance without a big dose of caffeine.
Responses are due by May 1, 2014.