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Collaborative projects to innovate in the cork stopper

  • Six cork companies start two collaborative projects to improve the performance of cork stoppers
  • The studies will make it possible to learn more about oxygen permeability and sensory improvement
  • The Institut Català del Suro coordinates the research projects

Since the 19th century, Catalonia has been a center of the cork industry worldwide. And, since the 90s, this agri-food industry has been characterized by a strong commitment to innovation and research.

In this way, Catalan cork has managed to maintain international leadership in terms of excellence and innovation.

With these two new projects, the strategy maintained by the cork industry in recent years is reaffirmed: pooling efforts to be at the forefront of innovation and the highest quality standards. In this way, six companies have joined forces to participate in collaborative projects to continue improving the competitiveness of their products.

The two projects in question are the Operational Group for the elimination of unwanted aromas in corks using biosorbents (GO Biosorbents) and the Operational Group to learn about the evolution of the oxygen permeability of corks according to different methods of production (GO Permeability). Both projects have a global budget of approximately €275,000 and are co-financed by the European FEDER fund and by the Department of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishing and Food of the Generalitat de Catalunya through Operation 16.01.01 (cooperation for innovation ) of the PDR of Catalonia 2014-2020.

The Institut Català del Suro (ICSuro) is the research center in charge of coordinating these two projects.

 

GO Biosorbents

Currently, there are aroma removal systems on the market but they are intended for cork granules, not corks, given that they are "aggressive" removal systems that can affect the cellular structure of the material.

The proposed system is based on the use of adsorbents and biosorbents with the aim of "retaining" the aromas. These compounds are already used in other sectors since they allow the application of an effective system for the elimination of persistent organic pollutants. It is an economical and environmentally friendly process.

The expected results of the project are two aroma removal systems, one for the natural cork stopper manufacturing process and another for the agglomerated cork stopper manufacturing process with two natural cork discs.

The use of these systems will allow the modernization of part of the production process, the increase in the competitiveness of cork stoppers and an increase in their participation in the market share.

Companies participate in the project By Maria Taps, Costa Quer i Oller Group of Cassà de la Selva and  J. Beams i THESIS from Palafrugell

 

Go Permeability

Measuring oxygen permeability with NFC technology

One of the demands of the wine market regarding caps refers to their oxygen barrier capacity or oxygen permeability. It should be noted that oxygen plays a very important role in the evolution of wine before and after bottling. It is currently known that cork stoppers have an advantage over alternative stoppers in this aspect due to their characteristic plant matrix.
The objective of GO Permeability is for the cork sector to take advantage of this advantage by having more knowledge about the effect of cork production processes on oxygen permeability.

The expected results of the project is the obtaining of an innovative method for measuring the permeability of corks throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Companies participate in this project THESIS i J. Beams of Palafrugell as well as Manuel Serra i Oller Group from Cassà de la Selva.

These two new projects add to the total of eleven projects that ICSuro is currently managing and coordinating so that companies in the value chain of the cork sector can implement innovation in the day-to-day of their organizations, thus increasing their competitiveness in a global market, generate new jobs and maintain the Catalan surer ecosystem.

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