After six years, Interpack is again opening its doors to the industry from May 4-10, 2023, in Düsseldorf, Germany. Leading Swiss technology group, Bühler, is also back in full swing, showcasing not only its cutting-edge process engineering for cocoa, chocolate, coffee, nuts, wafer, biscuit, pasta, and sustainable proteins but its commitment to serving customers throughout their innovation journey, from project ideation, delivery of the solutions, optimization of the lines, to maintenance at the show.
Tense supply chains, soaring energy and raw materials prices along with effects of the war in Ukraine have been impacting businesses. With the lack of raw materials, countries and companies are investing in new solutions to improve productivity and self-sufficiency. At the same time, consumers worldwide are becoming more aware of health and sustainability, making more conscious food choices.
“Under the motto ‘Driving the future of food – with sustainable solutions,’ we not only propose solutions that address key sustainability issues, food security, and consumer trends, but also inspire our customers to innovate. We support them in every step of their journey, from the project idea, conception, to product development, we develop and deliver the solutions, and move on together with services and maintenance of the lines,” says Thomas Bischof, global head of Business Development Consumer Foods at Bühler Group.
Together with its customers and partners, with the common desire to accelerate impact across industries and on global scale, Bühler has committed to having solutions ready to multiply by 2025 that reduce energy, waste, and water by 50% in the value chains of its customers. It has also developed a pathway to achieve a 60% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in its operations by 2030, meaning Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scopes 1 & 2, against a 2019 baseline.
Driving energy and resource efficiency
Services play a key role not only in reducing costs, increasing food and feed safety, boosting capacity, but also in improving energy and resource efficiency. This is the case with PastaPro solutions, Bühler’s digital process service that regulates the water in the production of dough. It addresses moisture fluctuations in raw materials and ensures a consistent quality of the product entering the drying process in real time. DryingPro Moisture Control is another example of digital services that has a positive impact as it improves energy efficiency by making correct dryer control adjustments quickly and reliably.
More sustainable production and solutions
Wafers have become more popular among consumers over the last few years as they are a convenient food, ready to eat and easily accessible. This market has been driven by an increasing demand for healthy snacks. At Interpack, Bühler is launching a new wafer baking plate, which brings about a perfect fusion of stable frame and innovative inlet for exceptional even heat distribution.
Another highlight is Bühler’s SWAKT-Eco wafer baking oven, a premium solution for the fully automatic industrial production of flat and hollow wafers, designed to reduce gas consumption and emissions. Two electrical tunnel baking ovens – DirectBake E and Turbu E − are sustainable alternatives for the industrial production of biscuits, cookies, crackers, and cakes as they are developed to achieve highest product quality with reduced carbon emissions during the baking process.
Bühler’s portfolio is extensive and goes beyond the solutions to produce healthy snacks, wafers, and traditional cereal. “Bühler’s Pet Food segment can – together with the expertise of our Consumer Food colleagues – consult, develop, and supply total solutions for baked pet food,” explains Marcel Ramseyer, head of Market Segment Pet Food at Bühler Group.
Moving to the cocoa, coffee, and nuts segment, Bühler is presenting its coffee roaster Roastmaster20, which is the first solution to feature Bühler’s new software Playone, a web-based machine control system. With Playone, it is now possible to improve operation with real-time information, increasing monitoring, and adjusting the recipe in a more consistent way.
For the world of confectionery, Bühler is displaying its ChocoX solution, a chocolate modular molding line that combines flexibility and agility in production and hygienic design, resulting in significantly lower operational costs. Thanks to integrated control boxes that replace all central switch cabinets, the new ChocoX comes with a reduced footprint.
Greater energy efficiency is one of the prime benefits of the new hammer mill Granulex 5 series as well, with 10% reduction in energy consumption per ton, and in some cases the reduction can be as much as 30%. Launched in 2022, it combines a groundbreaking modular system that offers flexibility and energy savings while maintaining the highest product quality and safety standards.
Plant-based proteins have been part of the solution when the topic is feeding a global population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050 in a sustainable way. “We have been active in the field of plant-based alternatives for a long time before the market experienced the boom. We bring this expertise and cutting-edge technology to support the needs of the customers,” says Christoph Vogel, head of Business Unit Human Nutrition at Bühler Group. Bühler offers a palette of solutions for the protein value chain from bean to burger. The customer can also test new products, shapes, recipes, textures, flavors, technologies and optimize production process in one of Bühler’s application centers worldwide.
Bühler has Application & Training Centers in 23 countries and keeps expanding this network. The Application Centers work as a collaborative platform to inspire and innovate. In June 2022, Bühler announced a strategic partnership with German engineering company endeco to drive forward pulse processing, meet growing demand for alternative sources of protein, and develop pulse processing solutions with a significantly lower CO2 footprint.
The companies are building together the new Protein Application Center at Bühler’s headquarters in Uzwil to offer customers end-to-end solutions, from bean to burger, including all wet and dry processing. The opening is planned for the last quarter of 2023.
The new Cocoa Application Center, based in Bühler’s headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland, will open its doors to customers later this year. “With our brand-new flavor creation center for cocoa, nuts, and coffee, we showcase an integrated factory from raw cocoa beans to molded products, our proven nut expertise, which spans the entire range of nuts processing, or our ultimate coffee passion in roasting and grinding,” explains Manuel Hoehener, head of R&D Chocolate & Coffee at Bühler Group.
To support the customers throughout the entire production process, Bühler is also building a new Food Creation Center in Uzwil. The center combines the best of Bühler’s solutions (in bakery, wafers, bars, biscuits) and showcases the future of food in an integrated way. The Center will open its doors in the third quarter of 2023.
All Application & Training Centers in Uzwil produce about 550 tons of biomass annually. To recover the energy from this biomass, Bühler is partnering with Vyncke, a company that specializes in converting biomass into clean energy, to build a test center for energy recovery in Uzwil. The plant is scheduled to be operational at the end of the year.
MISTA, an innovation platform for the food industry based in San Francisco, US, is part of Bühler’s innovation ecosystem. With its extrusion solution and expertise, Bühler can support customers in the region in their innovation journeys. In Brazil, the Tropical Innovation Lab should open its doors later this year. Developed by Bühler, Givaudan, and Cargill in collaboration with the Food Tech Hub Latam and the Institute of Food Technology (ITAL), the lab will provide start-ups, companies, universities, and research institutions with direct access to high-end technologies and a network of experts.
Food sensations tour
Bühler is organizing an exclusive press tour to its Food Sensations area at Interpack on 5 May. This is a unique opportunity for visitors to taste and learn what is behind some of the products that have been developed with state-of-the-art technology — from cocoa to chocolate mass and finally to molded products, from pulses to pasta, from grain to cereals and flakes, from wafer and biscuits to enrobed baked goods and more.