Bühler partners Big Idea Ventures to accelerate plant-based meat alternatives

Sustainable protein revolution

Bühlers new Food Application Center in Minneapolis. Photo - Bühler

Bühler and Big Idea Ventures are joining forces to accelerate the journey of start-ups, creating alternatives to animal-derived protein products. Big Idea Ventures, the global venture capital fund focused on solving global challenges by supporting entrepreneurs, recently launched the ‘New Protein Fund‘. According to the press statement, the fund will invest in and accelerate up to 100 plant-based and cell-based companies globally. Big Idea Ventures runs four accelerator programs annually in New York and Singapore.

“We are glad to have Bühler join Tyson Ventures, Temasek, and our other strategic investors in the Big Idea Ventures’ new protein fund. Together we can support the growth of the new generation of leading plant-based companies in North America, Asia and, ultimately, the planet. Bühler and Big Idea Ventures will work together to respond to consumer demands for good tasting food that is good for them and good for the planet,” says Andrew D Ive, founder of Big Idea Ventures.

Germany-based Bühler is a family-owned, 160-year-old company that supplies processing solutions globally and plays a critical role in global food value chains. The company also has a presence in India, headquartered in Bengaluru, regional offices in New Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Raipur, and branch offices in Hyderabad, Kakinada, Vadodara, in addition to 23 authorized channel partners across South Asia. “Providing safe, nutritious, pleasurable, and affordable food to a population of 10 billion people by 2050 and doing that within the planetary boundaries is a formidable challenge,” explains Ian Roberts, chief technical officer at Bühler Group.

“There is an urgent need for wide-scale collaboration if we are to impact the climate and nutrition challenges within the next decade. Academics, start-ups and established companies need to innovate and find more sustainable ways to produce food. This is why we are partnering with Big Idea Ventures – to accelerate the journey for promising start-ups, to reinforce partnerships and start-up ecosystems in Singapore and the US, and to do this with a clear focus on creating a more sustainable food supply for the future.”

Bühler’s role in plant-based meat and dairy alternatives

Bühler plays a key role in serving the fast-growing plant-based meat and dairy replacements sector, with value chain coverage from primary processing of pulses, peas and lentils, soy, oats, quinoa and, of course, traditional grains, through to the shaping, forming, texturing, fiber formation and cooling of meat analogues, be they dry or high moisture.

“This new partnership benefits from our global network of food application centers across Europe, Asia, and the US”, says Johannes Wick, chief executive officer – Grains and Food at Bühler Group. “However, it is particularly timely, since we are opening our food application center in Minneapolis on 19 June and introducing new technologies, such as the Filtrex solution, specifically for this sector, and will open our joint innovation facility with Givaudan in Singapore later this year.”

According to the press release, the new food application center in Minneapolis provides a platform for developing new ways to transform peas, beans, corn, pulses, oats, ancient grains, and many other crops into new food solutions such as flours, snacks, pasta, cereals, and a myriad of extruded products, including plant-based meat analogues. The joint Givaudan Bühler innovation facility in Singapore focuses on sustainable protein-based products. Combining the flavor and formulation know-how of Givaudan with the process know-how and technological capabilities of Bühler provides a one-stop-shop for development and the first scale-up of new products for a market test.

“We will be pleased to welcome Big Idea Ventures start-ups to benefit from our facilities and capabilities,” adds Roberts. “We are excited about this partnership and believe that we can advance our goals for a sustainable food system with Andrew and his team.”


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