Pio Herbal, Jio Har Pal: CSIR-NBRI Launches Healthy Herbal Drink

Pio, which has got thumbs up from Union Science and Technology Minister, Jitendra Singh, comes with the tagline 'Pio Herbal, Jio Har Pal'.
Pio Herbal, Jio Har Pal: CSIR-NBRI Launches Healthy Herbal Drink

The Lucknow based CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) has come out with a healthy herbal product, 'Pio', which is 100 per cent plant-based with no artificial sweetener or caffeine, but has the fizz and taste intact.

Around a decade ago, NBRI tried to develop a herbal soft drink but it was no match to the multinational beverage giants which dominate the market. However, the scientists did not give up and kept improving the product till they could finally pitch it as a healthy alternative. No preservatives have been used in the product and its expiry is of four months.

Pio, which has got thumbs up from Union Science and Technology Minister, Jitendra Singh, comes with the tagline 'Pio Herbal, Jio Har Pal'.

No Alcohol, No Cocoa in Pio Herbal Drink:

"Soft drinks are consumed by people of all ages, be it children or elderly. Hence, there was an urgent need for replacing these unhealthy drinks with healthy options. A team of scientists carried out an in-depth study to develop scientifically validated and standardised health beverages by fortifying them with certain health protective/promotive functional attributes," said NBRI Director Ajit Kumar Shasany.

"Based on traditional knowledge, we selected certain herbs. Extracts of herbs like liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), commonly known as 'mulethi', heart-leaved moonseed (giloy), Ashwagandha, punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa), common grapevine, and cardamom have been used in the product," he added.

"These extracts are blended with carbonated water in such a way that the drink tastes like any other synthetic drink available in the market. Sugar mixing is kept on a minimum level to tackle the bitterness of plant-based extracts," he said.

The NBRI Director added that Pio had no alcohol, cocoa, and other synthetic chemicals and has been successfully evaluated for its efficacy.

Soft Drink that Fortified with Medicinal Plants:

"The product is a unique blend of modern nutraceutical concepts with traditional knowledge in the soft drink category where the product is fortified with medicinal plants having colour and taste similar to synthetic beverages," Shasany said.

"The herbal plant extract used in the drink has hepatoprotective, antioxidant, immuno-enhancing, cardio-tonic, diuretic and digestive properties. The technology and process of the soft drink has also been patented," he said, adding that the technology to manufacture this herbal soft drink has been transferred to a private company.

Managing director of the private company concerned, Sandip Vyas, said: "This herbal soft drink has the potential to replace other synthetic soft drinks. We have taken the technology from CSIR-NBRI. We have undertaken all the necessary tests which are essential for its production and efficacy."

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