“Valencian company saves 99% of water in winery disinfection processes”

What were the origins of the company?

In 2014, we began developing our FIP (Fog in Place) technology in collaboration with juice clients in Brazil and the United States. It was a complex process, but the results were excellent and in 2018 we founded Aurratech Europe in Spain, acquiring clients such as the now defunct Zumosol and J. García Carrión (Don Simón). FIP marked a paradigm shift by saving 99.9% on water and chemicals in disinfection processes, without generating waste.

And they were growing…

That’s right. At that time we were not aware of the potential of the technology, but little by little we moved forward in new markets and solutions. Today we serve the dairy, bakery/pastry, slaughterhouse, beverage, sausage, fish, IV and V range companies and other non-food sectors that require high-level disinfection processes.

What is the current photo of the company?

We are a SME with 12 highly qualified and trained collaborators, including a microbiologist, veterinarian, agricultural engineer and other specialists. It is a multidisciplinary team that allows us to address disinfection challenges from multiple perspectives. Our headquarters are in Silla, Valencia.

What is the value proposition that the company offers to the food sector?

We offer sustainable and efficient innovation to the sector. For decades, disinfection processes had been stagnant, despite the existence of excellent chemical products. FIP provided us with a new approach to these processes, guaranteeing 100% contact, exceptional results and significant savings in water and chemicals. In addition, it is a technology that can be used with various products and applications.

How does your technology help mitigate the effects of drought in this sector?

Water saving is one of the pillars of our value proposition. Since February, we have closely followed the drought situation in Catalonia and the government measures for water saving in the industry. We saw a great opportunity to present our technology to the cava wineries in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia to help them save water. Thanks to the implementation of FIP, we have managed to reduce water consumption by more than 99% in the disinfection processes, which is crucial in times of scarcity.

How has it been received by cava producers?

We contacted the three largest producers in the area, who were very receptive to new water-saving solutions, although they were initially skeptical about our 99% savings in their disinfection processes. We tested them in real conditions and the results could not have been better.

What is your winery disinfection solution?

We propose to change the way disinfection processes are carried out. Instead of using traditional spray or flood methods, we use FIP. For example, in a tank where 1500 liters of water are consumed in the disinfection stage, with FIP we use less than 10 liters. The disinfection process for wineries can be very extensive, since all disinfection is done with water in large volumes, covering thousands of square meters of surfaces in tanks, pipes, equipment, etc. If well adopted, FIP could replace a large part of these processes and promote significant water savings.

FIP disinfection in tank and wine deposit at Juve & Camps and CodorníuAurratech

Is there room for innovation in a field like this?

What we like most is that new applications for FIP are emerging in all companies. The initial idea was fermentation tanks, but at the request of clients, we have started to use FIP in yeast tanks, shipping liquor, concrete tanks, fillers, heat exchangers… I think there are still many unexplored solutions for the use of FIP in wineries, and collaboration with our clients will allow us to continue innovating.

What advantages does it offer in terms of sustainability and efficiency in the use of resources?

We are approaching a point where the problem is not the value of water, but its scarcity and restrictions on use. All researchers claim that this is the new reality, so it is essential to improve the efficiency of water use in the wine sector. With FIP, we not only contribute to environmental sustainability, but we also help companies comply with stricter regulations and reduce their operating costs. Consider that we are talking about millions of liters of drinking water per year, in addition to the consumption of chemicals and waste treatments that we avoid. The impact on the winemaking stage is enormous if we consider that in Catalonia alone there are more than 700 bottling wineries, which means thousands of tanks and kilometers of pipes that must be cleaned and disinfected several times a year.

What are Aurratech’s future plans?

In relation to the wine sector, this first stage of introducing FIP was very important for us. The tests were carried out in the three main cava companies in Spain. Two of them have already adopted the technology and in the third we are in the final validation phase, with plans to implement FIP ​​for this campaign. Being accepted by the three major cava companies was like passing a rigorous exam, which further validates our technology. We want to have the necessary credibility to expand our solution in Catalonia and other appellations so that in 2025 FIP will be a viable, sustainable and effective process reference for the disinfection of wineries.

THE OPINION OF THE WINERIES

Juve & Camps is one of the companies that have incorporated FIP technology Aurratech its processes. Its technical director, José Hidalgo Camacho, explains that “environmental, human and economic sustainability is a basic pillar for Juvé & Camps. Since 2015, all our vineyards have been certified organic, as have our wines. In addition, one of our key objectives is to reduce the water footprint of our wineries. To achieve this, we have adopted Aurratech’s FIP technology that allows us to save water in the processes of disinfecting tanks and surfaces. We estimate that we will reduce water consumption in our facilities by more than half a million litres and contribute to reducing the environmental impact of our activity.”