In the wake of robust financial investments, an enduring commitment to Research & Development and major resilience, dedication and time, Corticeira Amorim is starting the new decade with a renewed sense of accomplishment. The company has just launched Naturity and Xpür into the world market. These technologies are designed to remove detectable TCA from natural corks and create a new segment of micro-agglomerated stoppers, respectively. Considered to be the most innovative, efficient and ecological anti-TCA technologies known to date, Naturity and Xpür also represent the fulfillment of the promise announced by the company in mid-2018: to achieve non-detectable TCA performance for natural and technical stoppers of cork by the end of 2020.
Research to develop the patent pending Naturity technology began in 2016 with the NOVA School of Science and Technology. The technology is based on the principles of thermal desorption using a proprietary, non-sequential use of pressure, temperature, purified water and time. No artificial elements are employed in the process, which facilitates the extraction of over 150 volatile compounds, including TCA. Launched worldwide, Naturity expands non-detectable TCA performance in the natural cork product segment, while further strengthening the operational deliverables of NDTech, the advanced screening service that individually analyses and removes any natural cork stopper with more than 0.5 nanograms per litre (ng/L) of TCA. *
Extensive bottling trials with a wide array of wine producers have yielded exemplary results in terms of measuring the technology’s impact on cork performance, with additional third-party validation trials to be conducted as soon as possible with the Geisenheim Institute in Germany and the Campden & Chorleywood labs in the UK.
Another revolutionary milestone announced today is Corticeira Amorim’s Xpür technology, developed to expand the non-detectable TCA performance for micro-agglomerated stoppers. Xpür improves upon the conventional supercritical CO2 application developed several decades ago, updating, reformulating and restructuring the concept with 21st century technology. Corticeira Amorim's innovative approach using this system uses only 25% of the energy and just 10% of the CO2 previously needed.
Furthermore, Xpür achieves results of TCA reduction levels to 0.3 ng/L in treated micro-agglomerated stoppers, while leaving the physical-mechanical properties of cork intact. As a result, Corticeira Amorim's range of micro-agglomerated stoppers features the highest possible percentage of cork and do not require additional chemical solutions to maintain cork’s natural properties, namely the all-important compressibility and expansion rates.
The Xpür technology will be used in the treatment of technical stoppers Neutrocork Premium and QORK - the latter employing an innovative binding agent made exclusively with polyols of plant origin, and which is expected to reduce the amount of single-use plastic stoppers in the world by several million units.
* Releasable TCA content equal to or below the 0.5 ng/L quantification limit; analysis performed in accordance to ISO 20752