Supersonic processing making waves in food and drink industry

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Brewing Food and drink

Pursuit Dynamics, the UK-based creators of novel sonic wave food
and drink processing technology, will announce at its AGM today
plans to expand even faster this year after its breakthrough in

Andrew Quinn, chairman of Pursuit Dynamics, will tell shareholders on Friday that there are more potential customers for the group's PDX Sonic processing system this month than there have been for the whole of the last six.

The group has raised £8m by placing new ordinary shares and plans to use this to accelerate expansion.

PDX Sonic was launched last year as the firm's first product, after four years of development. It claims to save processors time and money by heating, entraining, mixing and pumping mixture - achieved by accelerating steam to three times the speed of sound and subsequently sending a supersonic shockwave through the processing chamber.

The firm claims the technology can be used right across the food industry, from liquid food to soft drinks. By November, top firms from Europe and America, including Coca-Cola's UK arm, had placed orders worth a total £405,000.

Pursuit has also spent much of 2005 working with UK-based Brewing Research International (Bri) to adapt the technology for beer companies.

"The trials undertaken to date have yielded energy savings at the higher end of our expectations, around 30 per cent, in the wort-boiling stage, which is the most energy intensive part of the brewing process,"​ Pursuit chairman Quinn is expected to say at the AGM.

The firm is planning a commercial production trial in May and plans to begin selling to brewers before the year ends.

Professor Richard Sharpe, technical director of Bri and who held a talk on PDX in brewing at the recent Drinktec expo, told​ the technology had already attracted one of the world's ten biggest brewers. "They think there may be savings for £1.5m in energy bills alone."

The early success of PDX Sonic in a variety of sectors suggests Pursuit Dynamics has found a key niche in food and drink processing.

Quinn said the firm's sales had met targets for the first quarter of its financial year, and predicted the growth rate would increase in the second half as the group realised investments in its distribution and sales network.

He added there were several research and development projects in the pipeline, including the separation of heavy oils and oil sands, waste stream processing and human and animal disinfection.

Pursuit's new Basilisk decontamination system, developed jointly with DuPont, is also being tested by US government defence agency DARPA.

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