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Playford invests in billion-dollar opportunity
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Playford Capital has invested in Cavitus, an Australian company with world-leading High Power Ultrasonics (HPU) technology that may rid the global wine industry of a ‘dirty secret’.
Cavitus has raised an initial investment round of $2 million to further develop and protect its HPU technology and to deliver to market a breakthrough wine barrel-cleaning and disinfection system that can effectively eliminate Brettanomyces Dekerra ('Brett'), both in maturing wine and in oak barrels, themselves.
‘Brett’ is a naturally-occurring yeast, by-products of which cause the destruction of hundreds of millions of dollars of value in wine and oak barrels each year. Industry participants and academic experts estimate that ‘Brett’ destroys more than five per cent of the value of wine annually.
HPU is a new powerful technology that generates high-energy micro-bubbles within a liquid medium – a process called cavitation. Cavitus has used HPU to design a proprietary barrel-cleaning and disinfection system that is much more effective than current methods, such as rinsing barrels with high-pressure water or applying chemicals. The Cavitus solution is uniquely able to rid barrel interiors of tartrate residues and other detritus, providing markedly more uniform cleaning, and destroying ‘Brett’ yeast cells on the interior surfaces and in the wood pores.
‘Brett’ is the ‘dirty secret’ of winemaking. Although the flavour-impairing yeast is widespread, wineries are reluctant to admit its extent, often back-blending wines to cover ‘Brett’-damaged product.
Cavitus successfully negotiated a Research and IP Commercialisation agreement with a global food and beverage company in 2005 and is currently negotiating with international winemakers to trial its barrelcleaning and disinfection system. Cavitus continues to develop product solutions and register patents for unique applications of its HPU technology in the multi-billion-dollar global food and beverage industry, in vertical markets as diverse as brewing and high-value food ingredients.
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