Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  07 Apr 2011

BEVERAGES: SurePure Makes Brewing History


Recent Western Cape Business News

FOR the first time in the history of brewing, SAB has adopted UV photo sterilisation technology for its brewing process that uses light instead of heat to purify raw ingredients for its fruit alcohol beverages.

With the implementation of SurePure’s patented photopurification technology, SAB has already realised 82% in energy savings over the previous pasteurisation process, with potential energy savings of up to 94% envisaged. SurePure has its South African operations based in Cape Town.

The implementation of the SurePure technology is currently being used in SAB’s fruit alcohol beverage brands, specifically Brutal Fruit, Sarita and Redds, and SAB is looking at the potential for this new brewing process to replace or reduce the pasteurisation and/or sterile filtration of beer itself.

The technology replaces the pasteurisation process for dextrose sugar syrup solutions used to make alcohol and replaces the need to heat up and then chill down the solution, thereby significantly saving energy and water.

Steve Miller, marketing executive of SurePure, which holds the worldwide patent for photopurification, says that the technology has been approved and implemented by SAB for use at its Chamdor plant and is being looked at for plants outside South Africa too.

The application was developed specifically for and with SAB South Africa. SABMiller has the option to globalise the technology, although Miller says that they do not have exclusive use of the technology.

UVC systems have been used for many years in breweries to purify water. However, Miller says that this is the first known application of UV technology in the actual brewing process.

Other brewery applications include the purification of process and rinse water; the purification of cold-processed dilution water; the replacement of sterile filtration of finished beer; and the replacement of or adjunct to both flash and tunnel pasteurisation of beer.

The SurePure technology is different to the existing technology being used by SAB and utilizes the world’s first UV-C photopurification process that can be used on turbid liquids.

This is the first time in the history of brewing that this technology has been applied to the brewing process. It uses light instead of heat to purify beer and other brewed products, including finished product, something no other UV technology can accomplish.

On the benefits of SurePure’s technology over the existing technology, Miller explains that it uses less energy and water; costs less to purchase and maintain; and takes up far less floor space than the traditional heat technology.

It also offers the opportunity for interesting NPD activity and new marketing claims for premium products with higher margins. It saves resources and money, and allows the innovative brewer to make new products with more margin.”

From a sustainability point of view, Miller says the SurePure system has a smaller carbon footprint, and significantly lower energy and water consumption than pasteurisation.

With regard to the cost for breweries to change over to the SurePure system, Miller says it is priced competitively to pasteurising equivalents. However, its utility savings ensure that the capital cost is quickly recovered.

It can also be used in other parts of the brewing process allowing for huge reductions in the costs of brewing vessels and tunnel pasteurisers, so it makes economic sense even for existing breweries,” says Miller.

Miller points out that there is huge scope for SurePure to be used by brewers internationally.

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