The Science Behind Creating a Cannabis Infused Beverage

The cannabis infused market has evolved by leaps and bounds thanks to visionary producers and scientific advances of infusion technology. Vertosa has been at the forefront of this technological revolution, helping clients bring groundbreaking infused beverages, edibles and topicals to market.

The Vertosa Process

An infused beverage comes to life by introducing oil-based cannabinoids into a beverage’s other ingredients, which are usually water-based. Vertosa has developed industry leading, patent-pending cannabis emulsion systems that make the infusion process reliable and scalable.

At Vertosa, we do not believe one size fits all, because one emulsion formula simply can not fulfill all our clients’ imaginations about their infused products. Every beverage has its own unique combination of taste, appearance, experience, ingredients, packaging material and thermal processing. It is essential to fully understand how the emulsion interacts with each different variable to bring a reliable infused beverage to life.

“Innovative product makers should not compromise their vision to accommodate limitations from infusion technology”.

For example, if a beverage contains an ingredient that creates negative interaction with certain emulsions, we welcome the challenge to adapt our emulsions accordingly. Likewise, if the packaging material presents issues for potency stability, we confront the problem head-on, working tirelessly to design compatible emulsions.

To maintain high product quality, each batch of our production is rigorously tested for the BIG 6: potency, microbials, heavy metals, pesticides, residue solvents, and mycotoxins. We use all FDA approved, top quality materials in our formulas. None of our formulas contain animal parts, GMOs, gluten or palm oil.

 

Vertosa Science

Vertosa’s thorough, adaptable and data-driven scientific approach enables our partners to overcome some of the most difficult challenges in the industry.

Infusing red wine with Viv & Oak

Red wine has been a significant challenge for infused beverage makers. It contains high content of polyphenols, micronutrients that tend to bond with most emulsifiers.Due to this effect, no one has successfully launched a cannabis infused red wine before 2019.

Determined to help our partner Viv & Oak launch a stable and great-tasting THC infused dealcoholized red wine, Vertosa went back to drawing board: we first identified what emulsion ingredients caused the sedimentation reaction with polyphenols, then we tested a handful of hypotheses to design a new emulsion that avoids those ingredients, and finally we validated the new emulsion in Viv & Oak’s red wine base for compatibility and stability. After this whole process, Viv & Oak became the first brand to launch a cannabis infused red wine called Shimmering Scarlett, which includes three SKUs with different cannabinoid combinations.

Infusing cold brew coffee with Caliva Soul Grind

To achieve its signature smooth mouthfeel and aromatic flavor, cold brew coffee is best kept at a pH between 4.8 and 5.1. However, this range is also more prone to microbial growth, requiring packaged cold brew to undergo high heat retort sterilization to reduce initial microbial count. The temperature in the retort process can reach over 250 F for 5 minutes. This harsh condition not only poses a risk to emulsions’ own physical stability, but also amplifies any incompatibility between emulsion and the packaging material, such as aluminum can liners.

To help our partner Caliva achieve their vision for a high-quality hemp cold brew packaged in aluminum can, Vertosa went to work. We recommended our most can liner stable emulsion, and got approval from Caliva on taste and experience. We then worked closely with the co-packing partner Bev-Hub, expert in the cold brew retort process, to perform a pilot production. Subsequently we launched a potency shelf life study with CW Analytical, an accredited third-party cannabis testing lab. By combining all forces and working tirelessly with all of our partners, Vertosa witnessed stable potency results within the retort process and shelf life in all three flavors. The data not only offers confidence to our partners, it also builds trust to their consumers.

Infusing delicate flavors with VitaCoco

Before tapping Vertosa to infuse their new line of CBD coconut water, VitaCoco experienced several failed attempts with companies offering a “one-size-fits-all” solution. VitaCoco requires a tailored emulsion that would sustain potency in aluminum cans, preserve their delicate flavor profiles, and withstand tunnel pasteurization.

To tackle these intersecting challenges, Vertosa designed a suite of solutions for VitaCoco to choose from. The Vertosa team visited the co-packing facility to provide guidance during the pilot production, and collaborated with CW Analytical on a can liner potency stability study. At its conclusion, Vertosa not only delivered a reliable emulsion, but we also provided the scientific data needed to release their new product with confidence.

Infusing fresh squeezed juice with Plant Magic

Plant Magic came to Vertosa with a vision for CBD infused cold-pressed juices that contain no preservatives with fresh, bold flavors. Fresh juices require High Pressure Processing (HPP) to preserve the product without compromising taste or nutrients. So Vertosa went to develop an emulsion that can withstand extreme high pressure and remain compatible with PET plastic bottles – no small feat.

Employing a thorough nine week shelf life study, Vertosa successfully proved that our formula does not introduce potency loss due to High Pressure Processing and is stable within PET over an extended shelf-life – all while retaining the taste and experience that were originally envisioned.

These case studies illustrate the pursuit of scientific leadership at Vertosa’s core. Each of our partners comes to us with unique product needs, and in return, we work to elevate our partners and the industry as a whole through data-driven solutions. Read more about our work and ongoing leadership in the Vertosa document library.

To learn more about creating a hemp or cannabis infused product with Vertosa, click here to book a discovery call: VertosaTeam

About the Author

Harold Han, Founder & CSO

Leading the Vertosa team, Harold combines his storied background in emulsion chemistry and science with curiosity and fascination in the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Developing nano and micro emulsions his entire career, Harold holds a Ph.D in Surface Chemistry from NYU and is the author of two patents in emulsion chemistry. Prior to founding Vertosa, Harold was the senior emulsion scientist at Bio-Rad Laboratories, where his team scaled emulsification oil and supplied products to 90 countries. Previously, he founded a startup company in Silicon Valley.

As the CSO of Vertosa, Harold spearheads the company’s development of industry-leading and customized active ingredients for infused product makers, offering pre-suspended aqueous solutions to create incredibly homogeneous and stable products while maximizing bioavailability, clarity, and taste.