Beneo strengthens plant-based protein portfolio with $52m investment in new pulse processing site

GERMANY— Plant-based functional ingredients company Beneo is investing $52 million in a new pulse processing site in Germany.

Beneo’s early focus will be on protein concentrate, starch rich flour and hulls from faba beans, looking to process other pulses in the future.

Faba bean hulls and starch rich flour will be used in feed as a plant protein or fibre source in petfood as well as livestock and aqua feed.

Faba bean protein concentrate and starch rich flour can be used for protein-enrichment and texture improvement in meat and dairy alternatives, as well as in gluten-free baked goods and cereals. 

The company said the new production facility would strengthen their plant-based protein portfolio and will enable it to meet growing demand for plant-based food and feed ingredients.

Mintel’s Forecast figures predict that by 2027, 75 percent of all protein demand will be plant based, with products using these proteins expected to reach 11 percent CAGR between 2020-2027.

“We strongly believe in plant-based ingredients and see the new plant as an important first step in enlarging our protein offering moving forwards. This will enable us to produce a wider variety of sustainable plant-based protein ingredients over the coming years,” said Boettger.

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Pulses are also growing in demand, with pea and faba beans considered the rising star ingredients of new product launches worldwide, achieving a CAGR of 20 percent from 2016-2021.

Pulses help reduce greenhouse gas emissions at farm level; for example, faba beans provide nitrogen for themselves and subsequent plants, making nitrogen fertilization not necessary.

“Faba beans help extend crop rotation which ensures greater farm biodiversity,” said Karel Thurman, Beneo’s animal nutrition commercial director.

Beneo’s faba beans would be locally sourced from farmers certified by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) with all parts of the crop used for functional ingredients, it said.

Beneo said it had prioritized sustainability throughout its supply chain and has chosen low energy processing methods to help reach its carbon neutrality and sustainability targets.  

Green electrical power will supply the factory and the production process at the facility will reduce energy consumption.

The crops will initially be processed at existing facilities, with the new plant due for completion in the second half of 2024. In the interim, the faba bean ingredients are expected to be available from June this year. 

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