News 356 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Cleaning grains with ozone

A new wheat flour named Qualista was developed through a partnership between Paulic Minotiers, laboratory Goémar and supported by food research and quality institute Valorial.

Paulic Minotiers is a small enterprise, with 5 mills in centre of Brittany (15,800 t), 21 employees, a research lab and a president, Jean Paulic, who is eager to move forward.

Since 1993, Goémar in St. Malo is doing research on decontamination of cereal seeds using ozone.

In 2006, the two companies developed the Oxygreen process, and dedicated one of the mills of Paulic in Plounévez-Quintin, for manufacturing the branded flour Qualista.

Ozon and wheat
The Oxygreen stage is positioned between the preliminary cleaning and milling process. The ozone (O3) gas is used in a closed reactor, in which the grains are set in motion.

Often it is in the upper layers of the grain that hide mycotoxins, bacteria and insecticide residues.

The ozone neutralises contaminants in the grains, at the surface and in depth. The gas disappears completely after treatment.

What is Qualista flour?
"After the ozone treatment the flour is richer in fibre and protein," says Jean Paulic. "It is also rich in mineral salts. In terms of taste and conservation, this provides a plus."

Ozone destroys the pathogens and fungi. "In the tests carried out on naturally infested wheat, there has been a decrease in contaminating pathogens and fungi up to a ratio of 10,000," adds Christophe Crussaire, director of Minotiers Paulic.

Insects and larvae (tribolium, weevils) are eradicated. "Insecticides molecules have disappeared or are insignificant. This is also noted in Qualista flour, where a drop of 30 to 50% of mycotoxins, including DON, a familiar one in moderate temperate countries, was observed."

Food and feed
The French baguette made from Qualista flour would cost no more than a baguette made from eco-flours, according to Jean Paulic.

Even animal feeds can profit from the system, because the parts of the grains that go into animal feed are free of contaminants and thus well suited in diets for young animals.

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