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Bühler delivers first Prime Masa plant in India

Bühler announced the delivery of its first Prime Masa plant in India – the second Prime Masa plant worldwide – to PV Sons Corn Milling. The plant will consume 84% less water, 52% less energy compared to a traditional nixtamalization process, and will produce 96% less waste, among other benefits. Trials were first conducted in Bühler’s Grain Innovation Center in Uzwil. The 4-ton per hour Nixtamal line was commissioned in July 2021.

The Prime Masa plant is a solution for corn flour, which is used to make tortillas and nachos. Tortillas and tortilla chips have long been appreciated and consumed in Latin and North America but are gaining popularity in other regions, including India. India is one of the top 10 maize producers in the world, contributing 2-3% of the total maize produced globally. The country is also one of the top five maize exporters in the world.

Parag Chheda, Managing Director of PV Sons, says: “Prime Masa is a product of the future. We foresee huge potential for Prime Masa. And it is the next progression for us – to offer a new and relevant product to our clients. We are extremely happy with the Prime Masa output. Its quality surpassed everything available on the local market. We knew we had a winner on hand, and we could place our bets on it.”

Corn tortillas and tortilla chips are made from specially treated nixtamal corn flour. In traditional production, the corn is cooked with lime and afterwards steeped for several hours before grinding. This process uses large amounts of water, producing plenty of wastewater, consuming substantial amounts of energy, and stripping the corn of important nutrients. For every kilogram of maize processed, 1.5 liters of water are consumed, with most of this water leaving the process as wastewater.

Bühler’s Prime Masa Nixtamal process uses the latest in steam technology instead of cooking and soaking, using around 84% less water, the company explained. The Prime Masa Nixtamal process uses only 150 liters of water, instead of 1,500 liters of water to process 1,000 kilograms of corn into nixtamalized corn flour. The steaming process is shorter than the traditional cooking process, which in turn leads to energy savings. The greatest advantage of Bühler’s nixtamal process is that wastewater is eliminated, and the flour has a higher nutritional value. 

PV Sons will reach a reduction of 26% of CO2e (CO2 equivalent), compared to the traditional nixtamalization process.   

PV Sons is a family-run business that has become one of the leading grain milling companies globally, with exports to over 20 countries. It produces 360 metric tons of production capacity per day.