SWITZERLAND – Swiss technology group Bühler has entered into plant-based food innovation and sustainability with the launch of its state-of-the-art innovation hub in Uzwil, Switzerland.

The development integrates four specialized Application & Training Centers (ATCs) under one roof, enhancing Bühler’s capabilities in the realms of flavor creation, food production, protein applications, and energy recovery.

The four specialized centers housed within the innovation hub include the Flavor Creation Center, Food Creation Center, Protein Application Center, and Energy Recovery Center.

According to the company, the strategic consolidation will allow Bühler to cover the entire spectrum of production, from various raw materials to a diverse range of finished products.

Johannes Wick, CEO of grains & food at Bühler Group, highlighted the hub’s role in providing customers with unparalleled flexibility and options to disrupt their markets, particularly addressing critical issues such as sustainability, the use of local raw materials, healthy dietary choices, and affordability.

“With the completion of the new Application & Training Centers, we are able to cover the entire scope of production, from different raw materials to multiple types of finished products. We can offer our customers enormous flexibility and the options they need to disrupt their markets,” he noted.

“Customers need flexibility and creativity to adapt their products addressing key issues such as sustainability, the use of local raw materials, healthy diets and affordability.”

In addition, he noted that the Flavor Creation Center boasts expertise in processing cocoa, nuts, and coffee, positioning itself as a hub for flavor and product development.

He added that it would also support customers throughout the innovation and industrialization process, offering a comprehensive suite of services, including technology integration, analytical services, product and process development, workshops, and training.

According to recent data from the UN, 13% of globally produced food is lost between harvest and retail, posing a threat to the sustainability of international food systems.

Moreover, recognizing the global challenge of food loss and waste, the innovation hub aligns with Bühler’s commitment to sustainability.

Recent expansions, such as the Tropical Food Innovation Lab in Brazil, underscore Bühler’s collaborative efforts with industry partners to promote sustainable food and beverage development.

To further enhance its sustainability goals, Bühler, in partnership with Vyncke, has established the Energy Recovery Center within the hub.

This facility not only serves as a heating solution for Bühler’s headquarters but also acts as a demonstration and testing platform for customers seeking to reduce their CO2 footprint, waste production, and energy costs by utilizing by-products generated in the production process.

Ian Roberts, CTO of Bühler Group, emphasized the opening of the ATCs as a milestone in supporting customers and partners to create a more sustainable food system.

He highlighted the crucial role of innovative solutions in managing food quality and mitigating loss and waste.