Eurocob exploits the full potential of maize cobs
Located in south-west France, Eurocob has been processing corn cob since the late 1980s. Today, the company has become the European leader and ranks 3rd in the world for this market.
“We started our activity at the end of the 80s” recalls Jérémy Espinasse, director of Eurocob. At the time, the seed companies in the south-west of France no longer knew what to do with the corn cobs that they could no longer burn or leave in the fields. “But they wanted to add value to this co-product. We worked on the stalk, to see what could be done with it. We first went into the animal feed sector.” Although the cob is rich in fibre, it doesn’t have much nutritional value… However, Eurocob’s attention was drawn to its absorption qualities. “We worked on this high absorption potential to develop a product that can be used as a support in animal nutrition or veterinary pharmacy” continues Jérémy Espinasse.
Antibiotics are no longer automatic in animals either. Regulations have changed: “And manufacturers are turning to healthier formulations, more in tune with animal welfare and consumer requirements. More and more formulations are developed based on essential oils. Eurocob provides them with a green, bio-sourced, natural medium.”
The cob also has the advantage of having a protective effect on certain vitamins or active substances, increasing their lifespan.
“Food, health and animal nutrition account for 70% of our business.”
The corn cob, has many more qualities too
The cob also has a hardness equivalent to that of iron. “We use its abrasive properties for industrial surface treatment. For example, newly minted coins can be gently polished in a corn cob bath. “And thanks to its absorption properties, it also cleans the surfaces of residues from previous treatments. “Our cob has the form of granules that vary in size from 4.5 millimetres to less than 100 microns, depending on the needs.”
Its abrasive qualities are also used in cosmetics: “we supply it for the formulation of a small range of peeling creams or exfoliating soaps.”
Finally, Eurocob is opening up to bioplastics “We have formulations that we provide to industrialists for products such as small horticultural bins or larger bins. The idea is to incorporate cob to bring a benefit in terms of biodegradability.”
And Jérémy Espinasse concludes: “When we created our activity, we were a bit forerunners, today the markets are really looking for bio-sourced products.”