KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, U.S. — Working to help corn wet millers increase yields, reduce utility costs and improve operational efficiency, Novozymes has debuted a new enzymatic separation process, Frontia Fiberwash.

For five decades, Novozymes has been utilizing enzyme technologies to help starch refineries produce starch-based sweeteners more efficiently and simply. The company expanded this into milling for corn separation efficiency with Frontia Fiberwash. It releases the starch, protein and water trapped deep in corn fibers that are inaccessible by mechanical separation alone.

World Grain spoke with Novozymes’ Arnaud Melin, vice-president of Food & Beverages Business Operations, EMEA and North America, about Frontia and how it gives corn millers more for less.

“The mechanical process, regardless of how efficient it is, leaves some starch still bonded to the fibers that go into the co-products,” Melin said. “This starch is very difficult to extract and therefore it goes with the co-products. Our technology has proven that by adding enzymes and some retention time, we can actually access that starch from the fiber and access the protein portion that is next to it. So, once we access it, we release it into the slurry and the mechanical separation afterwards is much easier. By doing that our customers get up to 2.8% more starches in industrial plants and can also get more protein depending on the plant itself.”

Photo courtesy of Novozymes.

While Frontia produces more end product with the same or less amount of milled corn, it also increases sustainability with reduced energy levels and operational efficiency.

Novozymes said one of its customers, a European wet mill, increased grinding capacity by 10%, increased starch output by 2%, and increased output of corn gluten meal by 3%. Major utility savings were seen too, including a 20% reduction in energy for drying of co-products. Frontia is currently implemented in more than 20 mills, globally.

A corn wet miller interested in Frontia can access the Frontia Calculator online to learn more about how their facility can benefit from using Frontia.

The calculator demonstrates energy savings customers can see from dewatering, which is one of the three primary value drivers customers gain from Frontia. For customers who add additional retention time, they also benefit from additional starch and protein recovery, in addition to further reductions in energy and utility consumption.

“It is a tool that we developed to help document and clarify the type of savings that our customers will receive,” Melin said. “It takes into account energy consumption, electricity and water consumption and, first and foremost, the co-product in and out. It is a very efficient tool.”

Although corn milling is a new sector for Novozymes, the company plans to continue its work in mechanical separation.

“It is an area that is new to us, and actually to the world it is the first time an enzyme player or bioinnovation player like us has gone into corn milling,” Melin said. “The more we study it, the more we realize there is an upside for us to bring the new technology. We believe that this is the way to go in the corn wet milling industry to complement the mechanical separation with enzyme separation. We are looking forward to working with our customers to go to the next level.”

Novozymes is a biological solution company that works to improve industrial performances while preserving the planet’s resources. Some of the company’s goals are to use its bioinnovations to enable higher agricultural yields, low-temperature washing, energy-efficient production, renewable fuel and more.