Many woodwind instruments use a single or double reed made of cane (through plastic catches up). They cost some money, double reeds also take much effort, and with luck a reed lasts for two weeks.
I've a strong intuition that the 107 cycles of strong bending weaken the cane. But some people claim that soaking for 2-3 minutes before playing lets double reeds lose some fluids over time and this alters the mechanical properties.
Following that explanation, I propose to keep double reeds longer by soaking them in some mixture or solution that contains the fluids that would be lost. The concentration shall reduce, compensate or reverse the loss of the fluids.
One could try to analyze used soaking water and seek an equilibrium concentration of the several fluids for the magic bath. Or more simply, soak a load of unprocessed cane (waste) for an hour in water, and concentrate the juice until reeds don't lose anything more.
The best commercial form would be granules or concentrated drops that the musician puts in the water before soaking the reed. This might avoid bacterial growth. Perhaps some disinfectant like silver would help. The taste matters.
The budget for double reeds is like 200€/year, and musicians would spare efforts and keep their best reeds longer. If some effect is observed on single reeds, more musicians are interested. A handful of small companies live from reed making.
Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy