SA’s SurePure aims for US listing

UV sterilisation specialist SurePure reports it is turning to the US capital markets to fuel its growth ambitions, having gained the support of SAB South Africa earlier this year. SurePure is merging with Soefl – an OTCBB listed company in order to make the South African company a US reporting entity with access to US capital markets.

A spokesperson for SurePure said this is a step on the road to gaining a full NASDAQ listing within the next 18 to 24 months.

Explaining the value of such a move, the spokesperson said: “A listing on NASDAQ would result in increasing exposure for the technology as well as further increasing the group’s access to capital markets as it drives the business commercialisation objectives.”

SurePure’s plans revolve around a new UV photo sterilisation technology for cloudy or ‘turbid’ drinks such as milk, beer, fizzy drinks and fruit juice.

Earlier this year, the company announced that SAB South Africa had begun using the light technology instead of pasteurisation to purify the dextrose sugar syrup used to makes its fruit alcohol brands.

Now SurePure is looking to other markets but there are regulatory hurdles to overcome. In the US Dairy Management has submitted an application to the FDA on behalf of the company and in Europe SurePure is awaiting Novel Foods acceptance. Both are expected shortly.

SurePure Press Release, March 2011: SurePure makes brewing history with SAB

For the first time in the history of brewing, SAB has adopted revolutionary UV photo sterilization technology for its brewing process, that uses light instead of heat to purify raw ingredients for its fruit alcohol beverages. With the implementation of SurePure’s patented photopurification technology, SAB has already realised 82% in energy savings over the previous pasteurization process, with potential energy savings of up to 94% envisaged.

The implementation of the SurePure technology is currently being used in SAB’s fruit alcohol beverage brands, specifically Brutal Fruit, Sarita and Redds, and SAB is looking at the potential for this new brewing process to replace or reduce the pasteurisation and/or sterile filtration of beer itself.

The technology replaces the pasteurisation process for dextrose sugar syrup solutions used to make alcohol and replaces the need to heat up and then chill down the solution, thereby significantly saving energy and water.

Steve Miller, marketing executive of SurePure, which holds the worldwide patent for photopurification, says that the technology has been approved and implemented by SAB for use at its Chamdor plant and is being looked at for plants outside South Africa too.

The application was developed specifically for and with SAB South Africa. SABMiller has the option to globalise the technology, although Miller says that they do not have exclusive use of the technology.

UVC systems have been used for many years in breweries to purify water. However, Miller says that this is the first known application of UV technology in the actual brewing process.

Other brewery applications include the purification of process and rinse water; the purification of cold-processed dilution water; the replacement of sterile filtration of finished beer; and the replacement of or adjunct to both flash and tunnel pasteurisation of beer.

The SurePure technology is radically different to the existing technology being used by SAB and utilizes the world’s first UV-C photopurification process that can be used on turbid liquids.

“As one of the project team expressed it, this is the first time in the history of brewing that this technology has been applied to the brewing process,” says Miller. “It uses light instead of heat to purify beer and other brewed products, including finished product, something no other UV technology can accomplish.”

On the benefits of SurePure’s technology over the existing technology, Miller explains that it uses less energy and water; costs less to purchase and maintain; and takes up far less floor space than the traditional heat technology.

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