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'Commercial appetite' for photopurification growing with data: SurePure

By Mark Astley+

31-Jul-2014

SurePure's photo purification unit at Oak Spring Dairy, South Africa.
SurePure's photo purification unit at Oak Spring Dairy, South Africa.

The “commercial appetite” for SurePure’s Turbulator photopurification technology will increase as the data supporting its safety and benefits grows, says the South African company.

Earlier this month, SurePure published the preliminary results of the commercial application of its Turbulator technology, which uses ultra-violet (UV-C) light to purify microbiologically sensitive liquids such as milk, wine, and fruit juice, at a South African cheese making plant.

Using the photopurification technology, Pietermaritzburg-based Oak Springs Dairy experienced, according to SurePure, significant energy cost savings, an increase in yield, and improvements in flavour and quality on its cheddar cheese lines.

Speaking with DairyReporter.com, Guy Kebble, CEO, SurePure, said that the results, published just days ago, have already “sparked huge interest in the technology.”

“Pleasingly these enquiries have originated from both first world cheese making centres of excellence in Europe and USA, as well as burgeoning emerging markets in Africa and Asia,” he said.

"Reassures approval bodies"

SurePure's patented technology was granted approval in India in 2013 as a replacement to pasteurization for milk and other dairy products, and "fits the safety criteria for pasteurized milk in Australia," said Kebble.

The South African firm is also seeking dairy approval for its use domestically, from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and is awaiting novel foods approval from the European Commission (EC).

SurePure hopes that the building data supporting the benefits of its photopurification technology will encourage approval from regulators as well as the food industry.

“Naturally as the body of academic and business data supporting both the energy savings and food safety aspects of SurePure’s process swells, we believe that this serves to increase the commercial appetite for the technology and reassure approval bodies,” said Kebble.

“The postulate has been supported by our experience in India, for example, where the regulatory authorities have fast-tracked the approval of our technology.”

"Unqualified success"

Oak Springs Dairy, which processes around 20,000 liters of milk per day on its cheddar lines, experienced energy cost savings of around 75% using SurePure’s photopurification technology when compared to traditional pasteurization techniques.

Energy cost saving in larger cheese plants would, however, vary, said Kebble.

“The actual energy saving is obviously dependent on the current process and energy efficiency of the individual dairy,” he said.

“However, the academic and real life business results we have enjoyed thus far indicate that significant energy savings are a reality as a the SurePure technology does not require heat to process liquids and the technology does no retain water, these factors will most definitely impact the energy costs as well as water costs.”

Oak Springs Dairy also enjoyed a yield increase, as it claims PureSure has forecast, of approximately 10% “due to the reduction of psychotropic bacteria in the milk” and was “pleasantly surprised” by improvements in flavour and quality.

It branded its adoption of SurePure photopurification technology on the whole as “an unqualified success.”

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