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Bühler Group and Protix Form Insect Protein Joint Venture

January 19, 2017

2 Min Read
Bühler Group and Protix Form Insect Protein Joint Venture
Bühler is leveraging its experience in food processing and milling in a new insect protein joint venture with Protix. Image courtesy of US EPA

Eying a potential growth in the market for alternative, sustainable protein sources, food processing technology leader Bühler Group formed a joint venture with Protix, an up-and-coming Dutch insect production company, the companies announced on Jan. 16.

The Swiss food processing solutions provider said the new business, Bühler Insect Technology Solutions, will develop industrial-level production and processing of insects for animal feed and food.

“Protix is the most advanced insect company that has demonstrated industrial-scale production in a way that is scalable and multipliable. They have proven how to create a market in insect protein,” a statement by Ian Roberts, chief technology officer of Bühler, said.

Bühler will employ its expertise in food processing to create plants and processes for food and feed products, also leveraging the firm’s significant expertise in milling – a crucial step in extracting protein from insects.

The new business is based in Liyang, China, concentrating at first on production and processing of Black Soldier Fly larvae and later expanding to other insects like mealworms. Operations have already commenced, the Swiss company’s press release stated

“Bühler has a strong, established business providing technologies for animal feed, and protein from the insects can be used in pellets, or directly as animal feed. With our global market access, technology base, and engineering capabilities, combined with the deep knowledge, experience, and entrepreneurial flair of Protix, we have the ingredients for a successful commercial partnership,” said Roberts.

Founded in the Netherlands in 2009, Protix has created proprietary equipment and solutions for breeding and rearing insects and the extraction of proteins and lipids. A pilot plant operated by the firm processes 1600 tn of insect larvae annually, according to Bühler.

According to Bühler, insects might make up 15% of global protein production by 2050.

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