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Efficient filtering of metallic impurities in food processing

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Magnesys (Efficient filtering of metallic impurities in food processing)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2019-12-01 do 2020-03-31

In food processing like in the case of flour mills but also other powder type materials, the contamination by metallic impurities is a problem. Today`s magnetic filters do not satisfying in term of efficiency and cleaning costs. Bullet magnets that are state-of-art of the filter technology are expensive to operate because of the high electric consumption. Effective food control systems are vital to:
• protect the health of citizen;
• enable countries to assure safety and quality of food products for international trade; and
• verify that imported food products meet national requirements.

The legal framework for food safety in the EU is advanced yet currently in process. This is because serious food safety incidents during the last decades urged countries to review their food safety systems and to look for better ways to protect consumers against unsafe food.

MagneSys developed and tested a novel patent pending magnetic filter for food processing that allows the continuous filtering-out of iron magnetic particles from various solid foods in dry powder form such as flour for example. The founders are Mathias Béguin, CEO and Danny Caldas, CTO - who have both been graduated as Engineers of Applied Science in Microengineering at the University of Applied Sciences (HEIG-VD) in Yverdon- les-Bains, Switzerland. They joined their forces with the vision of Magnesys to become a leader in magnetic filters by supplying products to all food processing industries.
During the period of 1st December 2019-31st March 2020 MagneSys performed a comprehensive technical and feasibility assessment on its HGF technology – a novel patent pending magnetic filter for food processing. It compared the concept with known competing solutions, to able to distinguish it from current state of art. The next phase of product development was defined, and Phase 2 project plan prepared. The direct cost of the pure product development over 2 years is estimated around €1.32m. An additional 25% of indirect cost will be needed. The total project cost would be then €1.65m.

During Phase 1, the impact of the new product development and commercialization on the company was better understood and aligned with the overall business and financial strategy. The financial potential was quantified, with a profitability break-even to be reached at about CHF 2.0 M selling about 270 units in 2023.

Overall, Phase 1 provided time and resources to research the market, and better understand the next steps. Also, dozens of discussions took place with potential stakeholders, based on which MagnesSys was able to better define the objectives on the roadmap. In summary, Phase 1 convinced the management of the company to further pursue the idea and to prepare next steps towards the product development, to be conducted maybe also with the help of Phase 2 of the Horizon 2020 grant scheme.
MagneSys’ HGF (High Gauss Filter) creates a magnetic field (capture power) higher than the one generated in the products available in the market (almost 6 times higher on average). The first simulations have been conducted to estimate the magnetic field of the first prototype. These were checked and confirmed by precise measurements in the passage area of the flour. The system provides an automated and self-cleaning mechanism avoiding manual and capital intensive for enterprises. Everything has been improved to find a good compromise between the magnetic power and self-cleaning.

The central goal of the European Commission's Food Safety policy is to ensure a high level of protection of human health regarding the food industry — Europe’s largest manufacturing and employment sector. Therefore, Magnesys`s solution contributes to a more safe processing of food materials that will improve also the quality of European products on the world markets. The European flour milling industry is the leading food industry in grain processing, using around 45 million tonnes of common wheat and rye plus 2 million tonnes of oats a year to produce around 35 million tons of flour on an annual basis (EU-27). The number of flour milling company exceeds 3.800 of which a large majority are small and medium-sized companies. The industry employs about 45.000 people and represents a turnover of €15 billion. The average use of capacity is about 65%. As regulations will be more and more severe, the European flour million industry needs innovation to cope with the new requirements. Magnesys`s novel HGF technology will help companies to comply with stricter regulations, ensure safe food for EU citizen and improve the competitiveness of European manufacturing companies on global markets.
Key application of HGF