The technology surrounding advanced fractionation has now reached sufficient sophistication to enable the manufacture of oat intermediates at prices the market can sustain.
- The products will be sold into new emerging generic markets, in both the functional food and industrial sectors.
- The pace of development of these markets will define the timetable for the establishment of an advanced fractionation plant.
- However the UK has a technology lead in the breeding of winter sown high oil and naked oats, which are very useful feedstocks for advanced fractionation.
The one viable route to the construction of a plant in the Marches area is through the development of an alliance; of breeders capable of developing new varieties suitable for advanced fractionation; specialist contract companies to grow the optimum raw material; process companies with interests in oats to operate the process; and retail companies capable of marketing these products.
Currently there is significant commercial activity taking place within Europe marketing advanced oat products to the cosmetic and pharmaceutical sector, together with the early developments of new applications for these products in the areas of functional and pharmafoods. There are also a number of large commercial companies currently assessing advanced oat products, which if found to be commercially viable, will encourage the construction of a plant in Europe, and possibly in the Marches area.
Oatec has formed the platform to bring together advanced fractionation companies such as Ceapro Inc., with specialist food processors such as Cerealia AB. Such companies can work together in assessing the options of siting a plant in the area, at such time as the market develops sufficiently to warrant its construction. The Oatec project has allowed the UK an opportunity that would otherwise have been denied it, to participate in the new developing market for advanced oat products. Further research and commercial development will be required to convert the opportunity into commercial success.