On 10 June 2021, Swiss Bühler Group and Hosokawa Alpine Group from Germany have signed a strategic collaboration agreement to accelerate and strengthen the production of healthier and sustainable plant protein solutions. Together, the companies will provide customers with the most efficient value chain for pulses processed into protein ingredients.
As the leading solution provider in pulses processing, Bühler offers solutions for the intake, cleaning, dehulling, and grinding of pulses and further food processing with its extrusion technology, which texturizes plant-based proteins into products with a fibrous texture similar to meat. Hosokawa Alpine complements the production process by adding its leading technology for the dry separation of pulses’ protein: fine grinding and air classification. The combination of Bühler’s upstream pulses process and Hosokawa’s process for size reduction and classification produces the highest yields of high-value protein concentrates. Ultimately, with this partnership, the companies will offer customers process technology and expertise along the complete field-to-fork pulses protein chain.
Hosokawa Alpine as preferred partner
“Hosokawa Alpine will be our preferred partner for integrated solutions for our customers that are processing sustainable proteins. Thanks to their vast expertise in protein extraction, we can now cover the entire value chain for plant-based protein – from any kind of pulses to dry extrudates ready for consumption,” says Johannes Wick, CEO of Bühler Grains & Food.
This statement is echoed by Dr Antonio Fernández, chairman of the executive board at Hosokawa Alpine, “By working with Bühler, we can fully realize the potential of the value chain. With our combined technologies, we meet the market requirements in the best possible way and drive developments in the process chain forward.”
Seamless customer experience at the center
The strategic partnership will strengthen the innovation and development capacities of both companies. The market for sustainable proteins has been growing significantly over the last years, fuelled by end consumers demanding more sustainable proteins. “With this cooperation, we can address customer needs from the harvest to the final product. We operate in an integrated and collaborative way to ensure a seamless experience for our customers. This starts with our application centers in Uzwil, Switzerland, and the brand-new Food Application Center in Minneapolis, US, created to develop new methods of transforming pulses and grains into tasty new food solutions. They are complemented by Hosokawa Alpine’s facilities in Augsburg, Germany, all of them being available for customer trials. Our collaboration goes through to commissioning and services ensuring high-quality outputs for our customers,” says Andreas Risch, Head of Special Grains & Pulses at Bühler.
Besides this latest collaboration agreement, Bühler and Hosokawa Alpine have worked together in different projects and industries since the 1980s. This led the two partners to conclude that their strong customer focus and innovation power make for a strong fit for the sustainable protein sector. Apart from this cooperation agreement, both companies will continue to market their solutions independently through their existing distribution channels.
Pulses and their advantages
Peas, lentils, chickpeas, and many other dry beans are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, making them an excellent meat substitute. Pulses sit at the top of the list to provide a growing world population with plant protein. Their cultivation is more resource-efficient than most animal protein sources, with a positive impact on sustainability.