The limestone of Netstal has an exceptional purity. The best stones contain more than 99% of calcium carbonate. The fact that the resulting burnt lime is special, is demonstrated by its color: a European limestone is rarely that white.
The minerals inside the lime are responsible for its color. Especially iron and manganese oxides cause a yellowish or brownish discoloration. As they practically do not occur in the raw stone, our final products are pure white (white level 97%, Spectro Color Ry).
The analysis of the minor components also brings to light only minimum quantities. Therefore, there is just very limited magnesium and practically no aluminum and silicon.
Other elements – especially the questionable, i.e. potentially harmful, such as arsenic, barium, lead, fluorine – are recorded just in trace quantities. The food additives are below the requirements of the EU regulation n. 231/2012. The ambitious criteria for the E 529 calcium oxide designation and E 526 calcium hydroxide are accomplished.
Likewise, the regulatory limits of lime for the drinking water treatment (SN EN 12518) are far from being reached. In this standard are listed especially the maximum levels for antimony, arsenic, lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, quicksilver and selenium. The Netstal lime products meet the highest purity category.
The production process of burnt and slaked lime includes basically sterilizing steps: firstly, limestone is burnt to calcium oxide at high temperatures (> 1000°C). Therefrom calcium hydroxide is obtained with addition of water. During this “slaking reaction” intense heat is released, so that the mixture boils and thus the resulting powder automatically dries. Pathogens don’t have any chance and besides, calcium oxide and calcium hydroxide are highly alkaline. This ensures, that germs don’t even survive, if they arrive later in some way to the products.
At the beginning of 2013 the fuel-changeover in Netstal took place. Since then, natural gas has been used instead of heavy fuel oil. With these measures the burnt and slaked lime products contain now even less amounts of sulphur than before. At the same time, the very high reactivity of our burnt lime has been further increased.
The extraordinary purity of KFN products has been known for many years. Therefore, the official ISO 22000 certification was a logical step to provide further increased reliability to the customers of the food and pharmaceutical sectors. The structured and annually reviewed HACCP concept, within the scope of certification, guarantees that our high-purity lime products have not been contaminated in any way by undesired extraneous material. In several parts of the production process, magnets are installed to guarantee safety and to isolate some possible magnetic metal particles.
The requirements of the food sector are naturally more severe than the ones of the animal feed sector. Therefore, in 2016, the official extension of the validity of our certificate on animal feed was easily achieved.
The awareness of our staff has been further sharpened during the preparation for the certification and will be refreshed annually in the recurring hygiene trainings.
Netstal lime products are thereby the first choice of many European manufacturers of a wide range of food additives, be it calcium citrate, calcium gluconate, calcium lactate, calcium phosphate, calcium propionate, calcium stearate or calcium peroxide. Netstal’s calcium hydroxide is also used for the production of lactose, a widespread tableting auxiliary. Since equally pure lime products are also rare outside Europe, we could extend our customer base to locations overseas in Asia and America.
We recommend our products to the food and animal feed industry: Calcium oxide:
- nekafer 15, lumps 5-15 mm
- nekafer 80, lumps 30-80 mm
- nekafin 2, finely ground, standard granularity (ca. 2% sieve residue on 0.09 mm)
- nekafin 0, finely ground, extra fine (0% sieve residue on 0.09 mm)
- nekapur 2, standard granularity (ca. 2% sieve residue on 0.09 mm)
- nekablanc 0, extra fine (< 0.02 mm)