SWITZERLAND – Bühler, the Swiss technology group, has inaugurated its new Protein Application Center in collaboration with endeco, marking an advancement in its food innovation capabilities.

The center, located in Uzwil, consolidates the entire protein value chain under one roof, providing solutions for processing plant proteins from pulses or grains to finished consumer products, including dairy or meat replacements.

The Protein Application Center, spanning 300 square meters, complements Bühler’s commitment to offering a complete range of solutions in the protein sector.

The facility aims to enhance efficiency, sustainability, and food safety, allowing customers to bring their raw materials like peas or beans and collaborate on developing innovative products such as meat substitutes, beverages, and more.

Andreas Risch, Head of Business Unit Special Grains & Pulses at Bühler, emphasized the center’s role in taking a major step towards efficiency, sustainability, and food safety.

“The facility will enable customers to test and validate their ideas in protein processing, facilitating the production of plant-based foods that align with consumer preferences for clean labels and better-for-you options.”

The Protein Application Center will additionally offer both dry and wet processing options for plant proteins, providing solutions covering the entire protein value chain, from field to consumer products.

Customers will be able to utilize testing facilities on both small and larger scales, testing ideas on a flexible processing line with a capacity of 1 kilogram per hour (kg/h) and an industrial-size production line with an infeed capacity of 200 kg/h.

According to the company, the collaboration with endeco has played a crucial role in the establishment of the Protein Application Center.

The partnership focuses on leveraging expertise and cutting-edge technology to address the growing importance of plant-based proteins.

The center integrates two different processes of protein isolation – isoelectric precipitation with the use of decanter centrifuges, in collaboration with Flottweg, and membrane fractionation with the expertise of MMS.

The center’s capabilities extend to the development of dairy alternatives, including vegan drinks, yogurts, and cheeses. Additionally, the valorization of co-produced side streams of starch and fiber is a key research focus.

Tom Heintel, Head of the Protein Application Center, highlighted the center’s role in bringing together cutting-edge technologies and a team of experts to support customers in developing groundbreaking products.

“The facility aims to facilitate collaboration with customers and assist them in succeeding in their markets.”

Additionally, Katarina Slettengren, Scientific Lead of the Protein Application Center, emphasized the ongoing commitment to sustainability, seeking the most efficient processes with the lowest environmental footprint.

He noted that the center’s sustainability team will collaborate to offer quantification and reduction opportunities for customers’ industrial footprints.

“The Protein Application Center positions Bühler as a leader in advancing plant-based food innovation, catering to the growing demand for sustainable and plant-derived protein sources in the food industry.”

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