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Cellulose casing with improved mechanical properties produced with dissolving wood pulp

Improvement of cellulose casing mechanical properties and stuffing performance when are produced with new dwp development as raw material.

Nowadays, the meat casing sector is characterized by a reduced number of companies, being a high technological industry. Every change or modification within the sector must be accompanied with a high R&D component in a deep knowledge of the process and of the raw materials. Artificial cellulose casing producers use high alpha cellulose Pre-Hydrolyzed Kraft pulps (generally called High-Alpha Celluloses) coming from soft wood cellulose (conifers) for casing production, because is the only cellulose together with the very expensive cotton linters cellulose, that fulfills the requirements of production process and yields a product with high level of quality. So, this type of cellulose is used for production of various specialities, especially in high strength applications like for example cellulose casings. On the other hand are the Acid sulphite pulps, with lower alfa cellulose content that are cheaper but yield worse properties, and are that for not used in high strength specialty applications. In 2010 a huge increase of dissolving pulp demand took place, mainly due to a high demand of cotton and viscose staple fiber and an unexpected increase of viscose production capacity in China for textile applications. As a consequence a period of scarcity of dissolving pulp and high market volatility started. This situation provokes a huge price increase of all dissolving pulps, but much higher in High Alfa cellulose types. After the price peak that took place in March 2011, the price of low alpha dissolving cellulose started to decrease, while High Alfa cellulose kept at high level. This fact was known in the market as “Bifurcation”. In order to be competitive in costs it is necessary the use of Acid sulphite pulp, in spite of above mentioned detriment of casing performance. However, a constant challenge is to deliver right quality to the consumers to the lowest production cost. Based on this situation, the Spanish Group VISCOFAN, world leader in meat casings manufacturing, and Domsjö Fabriker AB, a biorefinery producing different products from softwood, like dissolving cellulose pulp used for different applications like cellulose meat casings, pose a joint research through this project. Through the same it is intended to develop a suitable artificial casing, with improved performance, produced from acid sulphite technology that still meet the customers’ demands regarding strength as when they use a more advanced High Alpha pulp. Therefore, an important opportunity is opened through the cooperation between both companies. Actually, both companies look forward to continue progressing in the consolidation of their respective businesses through, on one hand, to improve the cellulose casing performance when is produced from DWP, and on the other, the acquisition of new products which will open and diversify their product portfolio allowing an increment in their market share. In addition the project will help both VISCOFAN and Domsjö to learn more about strength which is critical for the competitiveness of both companies.
Acronym: 
CASINGDWP
Project ID: 
9 162
Start date: 
15-07-2014
Project Duration: 
23months
Project costs: 
2 770 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Technologies for the food industry
Market Area: 
AGRICULTURE, FORESTRY AND FISHING

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