PV Sons

Sustainable tortilla flour production with reduced waste, water and energy consumption

PV Sons Corn Milling, an Indian food company achieves a breakthrough in sustainable tortilla flour production thanks to Prime Masa, a unique solution by Bühler. It is the first plant of its kind that makes its way to India and the second one worldwide. Prime Masa uses steam, instead of hot water to produce corn flour. This may sound simple but requires latest technology and high sophisticated process know-how. 

A 25-year-old trusted relationship gave birth to the second generation of PV Sons Corn Milling Pvt Ltd to venture into the previously untapped world of tortilla corn flour production. As an organization striving towards reducing their carbon footprint, saving water and energy was an influencing factor. By studying the traditional corn flour processing and comparing it with that of Prime Masa, the team decided on the four ton per hour Prime Masa Nixtamal line to be commissioned in the year 2021.

We are one of the first mills in India to join hands with tortilla chips producers in this region because we realised that corn tortillas and tortilla chips would soon flood the Indian market. With this foresight, we invested in Prime Masa and so far, have not been disappointed. We can see the kind of savings this process brings for us every day and are thus incredibly happy with our decision,” says Mr Parag Chheda, Managing Director, PV Sons Corn Milling Pvt Ltd.

India is one of the top 10 maize producers in the world contributing to 2-3% of the total maize produced globally.  Corn tortillas and tortilla chips have amassed a huge fan following in India, thanks to globalisation and an increase in appreciation of other cultures and foods. This increasing demand for tortilla chips was not missed by PV Sons Corn Milling, a family-owned business established in 2006. As one of the market leaders in the corn flour processing sector in India, they jumped at the opportunity to introduce a new product to the Indian market. 

The innovative and sustainable Prime Masa process 

Corn tortillas and tortilla chips are made from specially treated nixtamal corn flour. In the traditional process, the corn is cooked for several hours in water and burnt lime is added before grinding. This process uses substantial amounts of energy, water, and strips the corn off some important nutrients. For every kilo of corn produced, 1.5 litres of water are consumed, with most of this water leaving the process as waste. This made it imperative for PV Sons to work towards their sustainable growth in a place where industries are the largest contributors to resource wastage. With their sizeable production capacity, they were looking at around 500 tonnes of water wastage – which is equivalent to the water demand of over 150,000 people!  

Bühler’s pioneering Prime Masa Nixtamal process uses the latest steam technology instead of boiling water and therefore uses less water, enabling the production of tortilla flour with its typical flavor, increased nutritional value as well as high quality and yield. The Prime Masa Nixtamal process uses only 240 litres of water, instead of 1,500 litres to process 1,000 kilograms of corn into nixtamalized corn flour, thereby reducing water usage. The steaming process is shorter than the traditional cooking process, which in turn leads to energy savings.                            

The Prime Masa plant is expected to save around 4,000 tonnes of CO2e per year which is equivalent to the annual carbon captured by around 205,000 trees. PV Sons is thus expected to reach a reduction of up to 25% of CO2e with this mill.


“Growth is the keyword for us in our organization and offering a new product to our customer base was always a motivating factor. Conserving our natural resources is currently the need of the hour, and as the second generation handling this business, we wanted to be extremely mindful of this as well. Bühler’s vision for sustainability and their offer in this region aligned with our vision as well and we procured this novel plant. Prime Masa has enabled us to increase our output and production capacity from 90 metric tons to 240 metric tons per day. Our overall capacity is 360 metric tons per day, which is great news for us” says Mr. Mayur Chheda, MD, PV Sons Corn Milling

Prime Masa is a product of the future that will open newer product markets for PV Sons, according to Mr Parag, “In the markets we operate, we foresee an enormous potential for Prime Masa. Like Bühler, we are proactive, customer-centric and technology forward in our approach. We have always tried to offer new and relevant products to our customers, and this felt like a step in the right direction. It has also helped us increase the breadth of offering to our existing clients as well as partner with prospective new clients.” 

Find out more about our maize processing expertise

We have developed a range of processes to produce maize flour that caters to differing tastes and customer trends.

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