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Increasing grain quality through advanced oxidation treatment during storage

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - QUALIGRAIN (Increasing grain quality through advanced oxidation treatment during storage)

Reporting period: 2014-09-01 to 2015-01-31

Since the application of EC Regulation Nº 396/2005 on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed, and the EC Regulation Nº 1881/2006 on maximum levels for contaminant in foodstuffs, European grain storers are facing the major challenge of coping with increasing stored grain losses.
Under this context, La Sanfermese, a company specialized in maize storage, has been working in a cleaning treatment solution based in advanced oxidation, which will be able eliminate 99% of any type of biological contamination (insects, mould, bacteria) and reduce mycotoxin levels while producing no chemical residues and at cost efficient price.
However, before this innovative solution could reach the market, a feasibility study had to be carried out to evaluate the viability of the proposed product. Therefore, La Sanfermese presented a Phase 1 project to the SME Instrument H2020 - June 2014. The project was granted and between SEPT204 and JAN2015, a Feasibility Study comprising a Business Plan has been carried out.
The work performed under this Feasibility Study has contained technical and commercial activities. Technical tasks included the definition of the technical development specifications including materials, capacity and performance requirements. Moreover, the main variables to be controlled during industrial tests were studied: temperature and moisture. Also, a risk analysis has been conducted and a Freedom to Operate Analysis has been done to ensure that the proposed technology does not interfere with existing technologies.
Regarding commercial activities, it has been conducted an exhaustive search and selection of partners and subcontractors for the project execution and future commercialization. On the other hand, a commercial and exploitation plan has been developed, including an accurate analysis of the maize market and the definition of a sales strategy and an exploitation plan. Finally the financial viability of the project has been evaluated by projecting the revenues, margin and return of investment (ROI) for the first five years.
After the detailed study performed, the conclusion is that QualiGrain project shall continue as it is a strong project which can boost the market by reaching a European need. Moreover, the technical study carried out justifies the reliance of the technology. Finally, the market and financial study reveals a clear business opportunity for La Sanfermese to increase consistently their profit in the coming years: €0.77 M from direct sales and €2.7 M from royalty fees by 2022.