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New cold and low-energy concentration technology (evapEOs2) for liquid food products

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - evapEOs2 (New cold and low-energy concentration technology (evapEOs2) for liquid food products)

Reporting period: 2017-08-01 to 2018-01-31

evapEOs® is a new proprietary cold concentration technology developed by EDERNA, a French SME. evapEOs® allows to produce high quality food and biotechnology products using low energy consumption, obtained using low operating temperatures, which represents serious European and global problem. The process has already been validated by several potential industrial users for a broad range of applications (fruit juice concentrates, dairy or plant proteins, coffee and tea extracts, etc.). Traditional concentration technologies require large amounts of energy needed to evaporate water. Moreover, the relatively high temperatures required for the evaporation often lead to undesirable product degradation, such as the loss of aromas and vitamins and the denaturation of proteins. Unlike competing technologies, evapEOs fully preserves the sensory profile and nutritional benefits of the products, while reducing energy costs by up to 95%. Due to lower energy expenditures and higher production yields, evapEOs cuts down production costs and improves products’ public image due to its low environmental footprint. A new advanced and improved second generation version of the product will be developed, validated and industrialised within the scope of the SME Instrument programme. It will focus on the development of new equipment features (Human Machine Interface) and disruptive technological upgrades (a more selective membrane and draw solutions). Detailed market research and business planning will be carried out as well.
The EDERNA proprietary Forward Osmosis (FO) technology is already previously successfully validated in a real industrial environment. However, the key issue for a broad technology application is the lack of effective FO membranes available at industrial scale. To overcome this difficulty, EDERNA conducted a study of the feasibility, risk and cost for the development of new membranes, with improved performance and resistance, which can be perfectly adapted for agri-food and biotech applications in industrial size, and the implementation of a membrane manufacturing factory.
The conclusion is that the best solution is to co-develop the new membrane with a competent industrial partner. EDERNA identified a European company, which has already provided a proof of concept of industrial FO membranes. The company has accepted to collaborate with EDERNA on this development.
The analysis of Intellectual Property and Freedom to Operate conducted by the IP firm IPSIDE did not reveal any patent title that seems likely to oppose the freedom to exploit the forward osmosis by EDERNA in Europe.
The market analysis conducted by Novanexia on 49 experts from the agronomic and pharmaceutical industry confirms the real interest of evapEOs2 among future clients. The study allowed, inter alia, to deepen users’ needs & benefits, the technological positioning & advantages of the innovation and to start business discussions with potential clients.
The above-mentioned development will allow for the product to be applied to high challenging food products (more viscous products, oily solutions, alcohol-rich liquids, etc.) These improvements will result in new applications, including water recovery from food and biotech liquid wastes and by-products. Thanks to these innovations, it is expected that the company will reach a turnover of 69M€ and create more than 30 European jobs by 2022.
Saving energy, protecting environment, Ederna is strongly committed to those goals. Our products are involved in processing food, reducing carbon emission thus energy consumption from 30 to 95% depending on the application during processing and additional savings during subsequent transport. Thus, we currently are playing a vital role in areas that are crucial for society, such as energy optimization, environmental protection and food production.
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