SWITZERLAND – Bühler has launched PolyCool 1000, a new high-performance cooling die that enables production of products of different shapes and structures while meeting the standards required by industrial-scale production.

In a statement, Bühler said that the die, together with an extruder, provides an efficient and flexible solution for food producers creating tasty and sustainable plant-based meat or fish alternatives.

The PolyCool 1000 completes the product portfolio of high-moisture cooling dies by Bühler, including the PolyCool 500 for mid-scale industrial production, and the PolyCool 50 for product development purposes.

“With the PolyCool 1000, customers can achieve high-capacity production, bringing down costs and making meat substitutes more affordable,” says Christoph Vogel.

“As the market shifts to a more plant-based diet, fueled by consumers’ growing interest in health, sustainability and ethical concerns, the PolyCool 1000 supports food producers in grasping this opportunity.”

Meat alternatives as a sustainable source of food

Livestock rearing – from which we get our meat- contributes 14% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the most unsustainable ways to produce food.  

Proteins derived from plants have in the recent past come to play a key role in driving nutritional diversity and in promoting sustainable food production.

Increasing the percentage of plant-based proteins in food products however requires processing expertise- this is where technology companies like Bühler come in.

“Bühler has for many years supported food producers in developing innovative products that offer an attractive alternative to animal meat – products that are similar in terms of fiber structure, color, texture, and taste,” says Christoph Vogel, Head of Market Segment Proteins & Ingredients.

Role of cooling dies in plant-based food production

Plant-based foods are prepared using extrusion technology. Cooling dies work with extrusion technology to enable the creation of attractive meat or fish substitutes with structures and textures that closely resemble animal-based meat products such as chicken, fish, or beef.

With the PolyCool 1000 cooling die in combination with an extruder, it is possible to produce wet-textured proteins based on a wide range of raw materials including soy, pulses, and oilseeds.

The high-capacity cooling die can also withstand pressures of up to 50 bar as it cools down the melt from some 150 degrees Celsius to below boiling point.

As the plant based food market continues to expand, and more processors demand for more extrusion solutions. Bühler with it’s advanced extrusion technologies is well-positioned to support this growing market.

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