Why +50 wet millers have implemented Frontia®

Published in INFORM Jan 2021 1, Vol. 32 (1) on how Phospholipase C enables higher oil yields

Why nearly a 1/5 (and counting) of the wet milling industry has added enzymes to boost separation efficiency

Dating back more than 175 years, the corn wet milling industry has seen its share of improvements, including incremental leaps in separation-, dewatering- and energy efficiencies.

But while these process enhancements continue today, many in the industry are coming to the same conclusion: Mechanical separation has reached its limits.

The global corn processing industry is often at the mercy of the commodity markets – both on the input and output ends of the equation. It isn’t immune to financial and consumer driven market dynamics that can have big impacts on production swings and margins. This picture is often more complicated when you zoom out globally. While some regions are experiencing excess capacity, especially in mature markets, other regions are growing, and they are conversely limited only by the amount of corn they can process today.

We’ve seen several benefits, including fiber moisture decrease, starch yield increase, gluten yield increase, and weight increases in the corn steep liquor sprayed on fiber. But the biggest benefits are increased starch yield and decreased fiber moisture.

Corn - Grain and starch
Key stats about Novozymes Frontia®
  • 50+ plants running Frontia® globally
  • 18% of wet milled corn done using Frontia®
  • 20% typical dryer energy savings Frontia® delivers for each mill Frontia

Taking grain milling to the next level

Mills all around the world are using Novozymes Frontia® to release bound starch, gluten and water trapped deep in corn fibers that are inaccessible through mechanical separation alone. They’re achieving their highest-ever starch outputs, getting more corn gluten meal, significantly improving dewatering, and finding capacity they didn’t know they had. 

By offering state-of-the-art separation efficiency, Frontia® lowers net corn cost and the variable costs of producing mill starch. In addition, Frontia® cuts the fixed costs per unit of mill starch by allowing steady grinding with less bottlenecks and interruptions. It does so by offering much more flexibility on equipment that typically limits grind rates, such as fiber presses and fiber dryers. 

It’s a breakthrough technology that couldn’t have been conceived when the first dedicated corn starch plant opened operations in 1844. But for the 1/5 of the grain milling industry currently using Frontia®, it’s become an indispensable part of the milling process. 

“Our starch-in-fiber decreased by 40%,” said Mr. Cui, general manager of Shengtai Starch. “Actually, if our fiber presses don’t have limitation, we can decrease starch-in-fiber by 50%. Besides, our weight of CSL sprayed on fiber also increased by 30%.” 

To get the most from your corn, give Frontia® time 

In order to realize the full benefit that Frontia® delivers, corn wet mills are retrofitting their plants to get a so-called incubation step, which gives Frontia® enough incubation time to release the maximum amount of bound starch, gluten, and water. 

 “Before retrofitting, I didn’t see a big difference between Frontia® and our local wet milling enzyme,” said Mr. Dai, vice general manager of Feitian, a corn wet miller based in China. “But after retrofitting, I have seen a significant decrease of fiber moisture and the starch-in-fiber. It was a good investment for our plant to add the enzyme retention tank.” 

It is very necessary to add the enzyme incubation tank, so that we can ensure enough of a reaction time for the enzyme,” said Mr. Cui, “With that, starch in fiber can be reduced significantly, and we can then have a better starch yield.

A flexible solution to help get the most out of your mill

As the global market becomes increasingly intertwined and competitive, many producers find that the greatest strength of Frontia® is the flexibility it gives their plant. In addition to boosting starch and gluten meal output and reducing utility spend of energy, water and electricity, Frontia® also:
 

Cut corn fiber drying cost by 25% through better dewatering

Increase starch output by ~1% via starch in fiber releasing

Increase corn gluten feed yield by 20% through spraying more corn steep liquor to fiber

Improve grind capacity by 10% due to bottleneck mitigation

I’m happy that I made the right decision to invest in the retention tank during our first meeting itself with Novozymes on Frontia®

said Mr. Suryankanth Gupta, managing director of Rajaram Maize, a corn wet miller based in India. “Now I’m reaping the benefits from the concept, not only from increased starch and gluten yield, but also from a reduction in energy consumption as well as manpower, since I don’t need as many fiber presses.” While it was once a revolutionary technology, those days may be fading for Frontia®. Now, it’s fast establishing itself as an industry standard – one that was 176 years in the making.

 

What could this mean for your business?

Do you want to learn more about Frontia®? Book a no-obligation meeting with a Novozymes representative.

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