Viscoferm, a new enzyme designed for high gravity fermentation and reducing the viscosity of certain ingredients during processing, has been launched worldwide by Novozymes. The enzyme could help drinks makers cut energy costs by between 15 and 25 per cent depending on regional energy prices, a spokesperson for Novozymes told BeverageDaily.com. The launch comes at a time when many drinks makers face unprecedented input cost rises, which threaten to damage profit margins. Cereals such as rye, barley, wheat and others contain high amounts of non-starch polysaccharides, which can create a mixture that is more viscous than desired by many drinks makers. Novozymes claims Viscoferm saves water usage because its combination of xylanase, beta-glucanase and cellulose can help break down raw ingredients to improve processing with low viscosities and higher solids. Since less water has to be heated, cooled and evaporated, the energy consumption is significantly lowered, it said. Erik Andersen, customer solutions manager at Novozymes, added: "Since viscosity is reduced, there is less fouling, cleaning and wear of equipment." The firm also claims its Viscoferm product enables drinks makers to be more flexible with the raw materials they use. It said the enzyme was ideal for beverage alcohol production when processing raw materials like rye, wheat, triticale and barley. "Distillers can now change cereal and raw material composition, and optimise it according to price and availability," said marketing manager Elmar Janser. "They don't have to worry about problems with difficult to process raw materials when they use Viscoferm."