Innovation does not consist only in the invention of a completely new product or process, but can also be represented by the radical transformation of a mature and consolidated production process through techniques developed in other contexts. For example, the world of beer production in recent decades has introduced incredible refinements of in terms of technology, chemical processes and fermentation. This is the case of Semidas srl, an innovative start-up company that uses chemical-physical processes deriving from industrial chemistry applications to optimize beer production even on a small scale. The principle applied is that of controlled cavitation, very well described in a recent article by researchers of the CNR of Florence and Palermo, titled "Energy efficient inactivation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae via controlled hydrodynamic cavitation ".
Cavitation is the physical phenomenon that occurs when vapor bubbles form in a liquid because of temperature increase, as in the case of boiling, but due to changes in pressure. A typical example is the cavitation produced by the ship's propellers, that, while turning at high speed, create areas of low pressure in the water, within which the water turns into steam.
Established at the end of 2018, Semidas applies the most innovative cavitator in existence today to beer production- This innovation reduces production time, energy consumption and water consumption by 80%. The machine is built by Chemical Empowering offers a "vertical application" on the market which, also thanks to the "IoT - Internet of Things " technologies, integrates the various technologies applied in a single system that can be managed via app or web-based software.
The new system developed by Semidas is destined to change, for the first time in over 5 thousand years of beer history, the steps of the production process without altering the taste. The beer produced with the new method is also suitable for people suffering from celiac disease because the new process guarantees the almost complete assimilation of the amino acid proline by the yeasts, eliminating the allergenic effect of gluten. According to the Ministry of Health, over 1% of Italians are affected by celiac disease, while for the Italian Celiac Association there are 6 million people who have chosen to renounce to gluten.
The new technology performs malting in a few seconds against the two days needed for the traditional method: barley or any other processed cereal is put directly into the controlled cavitation plant, where the enzymatic reaction accelerates. This makes sugars simpler and more susceptible to fermentation by yeasts. Also, the mashing and the hopping take place in a few minutes compared to the hours previously needed, avoiding the boiling and the thermal stress to which the must is normally subjected. Finally, the fermentation accelerates with cavitation, while its last cycle provides the pasteurization of the product, making it suitable for long conservation.
The latest innovation consists in the fact that the Semidas and Chemical Empowering machinery is transportable, so the cavitator can be integrated with an existing line. The machine, which occupies the space of two containers, can act as a real brewery. The first unit contains all that is necessary for the production of beer - even different types at the same time - while the second unit, insulated and compartmentalised, hosts the fermentation process and acts as a refrigerated “trunk” (with about 10 thousand litres of capacity), from the which the beer will be directly drawn.