USA – GEA, one of the world’s largest systems suppliers for the food and beverage sectors, has announced an investment of US$ 20 million in a state-of-the-art technology center for alternative proteins in Janesville, Wisconsin, USA.

According to the company, the facility is poised to become a key player in the development and scaling of new food technologies catering to the growing demand for alternatives to traditional meat, dairy, seafood, and egg products.

Scheduled for groundbreaking in spring 2024 and anticipated to open its doors in 2025, the GEA technology center will focus on piloting microbial, cell-based, and plant-based foods.

Leveraging GEA’s cutting-edge technologies and a team of biotechnology experts, the center aims to drive forward the production of complementary proteins through innovative technology.

Dr. Reimar Gutte, Senior Vice President of Liquid and Fermentation Technologies at GEA, highlighted the importance of the new food center in advancing industrial production in the USA.

 “GEA’s new food center bridges a gap in the innovation landscape, driving forward the development of complementary proteins through technology,” he stated.

“The move comes as the U.S. new food market experiences significant growth, with a surge in demand for sustainable alternatives.”

The United States, known for its favorable regulatory environment and openness to innovative food technologies, has seen recent approvals by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cell-cultivated chicken meat in 2022 and the use of precision-fermented milk proteins in 2023.

Arpad Csay, leading GEA’s North American new food business, emphasized the urgent need for scaling facilities like GEA’s in North America, where most new food companies are based.

“The Janesville platform aims to provide manufacturers with the infrastructure needed for scaling and testing without heavy capital investment, thereby accelerating industry growth.”

He added that GEA aims to not only focus on testing and validating processes but also to contribute to the industry’s development by promoting the training of biotechnology specialists within the 10,000-square-meter facility.

This marks GEA’s second investment in a new food hub, following the inauguration of its technology center in Hildesheim, Germany, in June 2023, focusing on cell cultivation and fermentation.

As a leading technology provider in the food industry, GEA continues to be at the forefront of the novel food movement, addressing challenges related to climate change, food security, ethics, and healthy nutrition.

The new food sector has been identified as a significant growth driver in GEA’s Mission 26 strategy, with a dedicated business line focusing on innovative technologies for microbial proteins, plant- or fungi-based foods, and hybrid products combining plant-based elements with biotechnologically produced proteins.

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