Plant protein processing is a key technology in meeting the growing global population’s needs. Proteins play a vital role in healthy human nutrition. A significant part of the current protein supply relies on the conversion of plant to animal proteins. Given that it takes on average 4 kilograms of plant-based proteins to produce 1 kilogram of animal-based protein, and that around two-thirds of agricultural land is already used for livestock, a shift to more plant-based alternatives contributes to meeting the growth in protein demand sustainably.
Together, Bühler and endeco will drive business opportunities in the growing pulse protein space. endeco brings decades of experience designing and implementing starch and protein plants, making a perfect match with Bühler’s processing technologies. “Together we can cover the whole value chain,” says Johannes Wick, CEO Business Grains & Food at Bühler. “endeco provides the final missing piece for Bühler between the mill and pulse processing. We are already the market leader in dry processing technology. With this strategic partnership, we add expertise in wet processing technology and will be able to offer full end-to-end solutions from bean to burger.”
For endeco, the agreement represents an opportunity to contribute its expertise in plant engineering and construction to this growing market. “We offer a complete process plant for starch and protein production. When we started developing plants for pulse processing in 2005, the valuable part was the starch, today it is the protein,” says Karl-Heinz Bergmann, owner and CEO of endeco. “Together with Bühler we will not only help meet growing demand for more sustainable sources of protein, but also improve the environmental footprint of the processing technology itself.”
New Protein Application Center in Uzwil
The new Protein Application Center in Uzwil will enable the build-up of know-how and drive the further development of processes for the production of meat substitute products. It will provide customers visiting Uzwil the chance to see for themselves how they can leverage the full integration of upstream and downstream processes, opening up many new opportunities.
Pulses are promising ingredients that provide a good source of protein. They can be used to create tasty breads, pastas, beverages, and meat substitutes. With growing consumer demand for gluten-free and vegan food, demand for pulse flour is predicted to grow by 10% by 2025 compared to 2017.
The Protein Application Center, which will be managed and operated by endeco, will be integrated into Bühler’s existing infrastructure for plant-based protein processing, connecting the Grain Innovation Center and Extrusion Application Center at Uzwil. endeco will continue with its other operations at its site in Buchholz-Mendt, Germany.