SWITZERLAND – Swiss technology group Bühler AG has announced a new strategic partnership with a German research institute to develop new sustainable food production technologies.
The partnership according to Bühler, will also create a platform to support start-ups, existing customers, and future partners to develop new end products and generate synergies.
DIL Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik e. V., the German research institute focuses on food technology and food science.
The institute has a campus in Quakenbrück, Germany that provides state-of-the-art food safety labs, pilot plants and research capabilities which can be used for food grade tests and extensive analytical services.
According to a statement from Bühler, teams from the two institutions will particularly focus on alternative protein-based products with a lower environmental impact than the CO2-heavy meat value chain.
“We continuously try to achieve a better understanding of the structure and functionality of foods, which we consider is the key to innovative solutions for food processing,” says Volker Heinz, Director and CEO, DIL.
“On this track, we are excited to have Bühler as a partner on our side. Together we will explore the many possibilities of technological interventions to get our food system on the track towards a sustainable future.”
Given the environmental impact of the current system, there is growing consensus that the food industry must change course immediately.
With an additional 250 million metric tons of protein required per year, the pressure on alternatives to animal-based proteins is mounting.
New sustainable plant-based proteins are being preferred as they provide a solution to the mounting pressure on sustainable food production.
They have significantly less environmental impact, less land use, and a lower CO2 footprint than the animal meat value chain.
Consumer demand for sustainable and healthy food products has also been growing in recent years, further underlining the opportunity for the food industry to make a positive impact.
Identifying alternative and underused sources of protein and develop efficient technologies to convert these into attractive, marketable products has thus become essential.
To this end, Bühler and DIL see extrusion of meat substitute as a key technology to unlock the opportunity around alternative proteins as it enables the conversion of plant proteins into food products with textures similar to meat.
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