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At the Protein Application Centre, customers will be able to validate their ideas in protein processing to produce plant-based foods. (Image source: Bühler)

Swiss technology group, Bühler along with German engineering company, endeco has recently launched its new Protein Application Centre, as part of the company’s expanded food innovation capabilities in Uzwil, Switzerland


The centre takes the process and product development of proteins to new heights by completing the technology solutions necessary to go from pulses or grains to finished consumer products such as dairy or meat replacements, or for intermediate ingredients, such as proteins, fibres or starches. 

With dry and wet processing options for plant proteins, Bühler now offers solutions to its customers covering the whole protein value chain – from field to consumer products, thus allowing customers to develop and validate their ideas in protein processing to produce plant-based foods, such as meat substitutes and beverages. The application centre also brings with it unique technology solutions to help maximise the value of side streams generated in the food industry.

Spanning an area of 300 sq m, the Protein Application Centre offers customers testing facilities on a small and larger scale, allowing them to test their ideas on a small but highly flexible processing line with capacity of 1 kg/h, while also being able to validate their ideas on the industrial-size production line with an infeed capacity of 200 kg/h, optimising the manufacturing process to scale production. In both processing lines, a wide variety of raw materials, such as pulses, grains, and other protein sources, can be split into their major components – protein, starch, and fibre. 

Two different processes of protein isolation are offered by the centre. The classical means is based on an isoelectric precipitation process and realised with the use of decanter centrifuges, while the alternative process is membrane fractionation. Bühler’s technology partner for the former process is Flottweg, a developer and producer of high-performance decanter centrifuges, separators and plants for solid-liquid separation. For the latter process, another of Bühler’s technology partners, Swiss company MMS brings its expertise in membrane technology, enabling the production of components with superior functionality, sensory, and nutritional benefits.  

“At every point in the process there is still a huge potential for optimisation, as sustainability is always an integral part of Bühler’s process development. This means we are searching for the most efficient processes with the lowest footprint," explained scientific lead of the Protein Application Centre, Katarina Slettengren. "Together with our sustainability team, we can offer quantification and reduction opportunities of our customer’s industrial footprint.”  

In the upstream stage, the Protein Application Centre collaborates with Bühler’s Grain Innovation Centre (GIC), where the customer can test and develop cleaning, sorting, grinding, sifting, and dry fractionation process technologies for multiple grains and seeds, such as wheat, durum, rye, corn, and pulses. At the GIC, dry processing technology to generate protein concentrates will be available to customers after the facility’s renovation is completed, by the end of 2024.  

The unique combination of the Protein Application Centre and the Extrusion Application Centre enables the direct connection from wet-separated proteins into an extrusion system. This helps to find novel and more sustainable processing solutions from the field to the fork. Bühlers CTO, Ian Roberts further mentioned that the Protein Application Centre also gave customers the unique opportunity to explore and create next-gen food ingredients for meat and dairy alternatives, while addressing the entire protein value chain in collaboration with all the other application and training centres in Uzwil.

For more information, visit: https://www.buhlergroup.com/global/en/homepage.html 

TPS announces a series of new developments and initiatives. (Image source: Topcon)

As part of its ongoing sustainability efforts, Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) announced a series of new developments and initiatives including the formation of a new global team, inauguration of a new research centre and the recent conversion of its global headquarters to solar power

Entobel’s end products include insect protein and insect oil which are consumed primarily by the aquaculture and livestock industries. (Image source: Entobel)

Entobel, a global leader in the production of functional insect protein for animal and plant nutrition, on 23 November, celebrated the opening of its new black soldier fly (BSF) production plant, the largest of its kind in Asia
 

The NPP portfolio covers a range of applications, including increasing crop resilience, supporting crop nutrition, and improving soil health. (Image source: UPL)

Global provider of sustainable agricultural solutions, UPL on 16 November announced the opening of its Global Natural Plant Production (NPP) Research Centre in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico


This modern greenhouse with specialised equipment, will act as a hub for experienced researchers, fostering collaborations with local and international universities and research centres, and serving as a platform for agricultural knowledge and innovative solutions.

The extensive NPP portfolio covers a range of applications, including increasing crop resilience to disease, pests, and environmental conditions, supporting crop nutrition, and improving soil health, while reducing residues and environmental impacts.

"We are so proud to inaugurate the Global NPP Research Center today, this significant investment will continue to add value for growers and strengthen our focus on differentiated and sustainable solutions,” said CEO of UPL Corporation Ltd., Mike Frank. “This facility represents a significant milestone in advancing agricultural practices worldwide,” said Frank.

For more information, visit: https://www.upl-ltd.com

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