The competition is a nationwide search for the next breakthrough in low carbon enterprise challenge. Since 2005, Shell has awarded £2.58m to 71 companies exploring ways to cut emissions.
Profound effect on taste
Harry Norman, CEO, Olympus Automation, told FoodProductionDaily Steam Infusion cooks a food product using steam in a partial vacuum (-0.7 Bar).
“This leads to a number of profound effects on both taste and flavour,” he said.
“It's fantastic to be awarded a £30k prize as part of the Springboard competition sponsored by Shell. The judges recognised the potential for Steam Infusion to significantly reduce carbon emissions due to a more efficient industrial heating and mixing process."
Small businesses account for 90% of the UK’s £120bn low-carbon sector, which is forecast to be worth £4trillion by 2015.
Steam Infusion allows food product to be cooked, mixed and pumped within a single unit, removing the need for multiple stages of processing.
Sauces, soups and meat
Carbon reductions are generated from the reduction in system footprint and 99.7% energy transfer in the steam infusion chamber. To date, the technology is being used across more than 30 sites globally, producing sauces, soups and meat products.
Norman added Steam Infusion has seen annual sales in the UK up 10 fold to £6m.
“It has been dubbed low risk because of the ease with which manufacturers can match existing products. The PDX steam infusion unit can be run in steam injector mode cutting production times but with no change to final product,” he said.
John MacArthur, vice-president, gas technology, Shell said Shell Springboard is a celebration of the small companies that are seizing the twin opportunities of the low carbon sector – addressing the future of energy challenge and contributing to the economic competitiveness of the UK.
"Olympus Automation develops innovative technology, and I wish it the very best of luck for the future,” he said.