November 21, 2023
Bühler has opened its new food innovation hub in Uzwil, Switzerland. The hub brings a diverse range of capabilities into a single location and setting a new stage for product and process development.
Four Application & Training Centers (ATCs) — the Flavor Creation Center, Food Creation Center, Protein Application Center, and Energy Recovery Center — are open to customers and complement the existing ATCs, such as the Extrusion Application Center. The new centers connect the entire value chain and enable a circular economy approach to food production. With Bühler’s infrastructure and team of experts, customers have the ideal environment to master market changes and design the food of the future.
"In this world where requirements are changing so fast, customers need flexibility and creativity to adapt their products addressing key issues such as sustainability, the use of local raw materials, healthy diets, and affordability,” said Johannes Wick, CEO of Grains & Food at Bühler Group. “With the completion of the new Application & Training Centers we are able to cover the entire scope of production, from different raw materials to multiple types of finished products. We can offer our customers enormous flexibility and the options they need to disrupt their markets.”
The new Protein Application Center provides field to ingredient and consumer product process solutions under one roof. The center will enable the buildup of know-how and foster the development of processes for the production of plant-based food, including meat substitutes, plant-based drinks, and ingredients. Equipped with the latest wet isolation and fractionation techniques for separation of protein, starches, and fibers, the center is operated in collaboration with Bühler’s partner, endeco, and will connect the Grain Innovation Center, Extrusion Application Center, Pasta Application Center, Food Creation Center, Flavor Creation Center, and Energy Recovery Center.
The Extrusion Application Center, which runs 80 to 90 trials per year, will link closely with the new Protein Application Center, enabling a unique opportunity to optimize the full process solution from raw materials through consumer products. In this laboratory, customers can conduct tests on food and animal feed, test new recipes, product shapes, and textures.
At the Flavor Creation Center, Bühler’s proven expertise in processing, roasting, and grinding cocoa beans, nuts, and coffee is combined in one place to create unmatched flavors and exquisite products. The center, which has been processing coffee since 2013 and cocoa and nuts since 2022, has been upgraded and renovated. It offers product innovation, training, process optimization, and raw material analyses and operates in line with Bühler’s Chocolate Application Center, Food Creation Center, and Energy Recovery Center.
The new Food Creation Center was developed to support customers through the entire innovation and industrialization process. The center, located in an area of 850 square meters, combines cutting-edge technology, analytical services, product and process development, workshops, and trainings.
Bühler and its partner, Vyncke, have built the Energy Recovery Center, which serves as a heating facility for Bühler's headquarters. The Energy Recovery Center also works as a demonstration and testing platform for customers who want to reduce CO2 footprint, waste production, and energy costs by using side streams.
“The energy generation from biomass as an integrated part of process solutions for food has not been systematically developed and therefore has an enormously high potential, both from a business and sustainability perspective,” said Wick. “The Bühler-Vyncke Energy Recovery Center is an important step for us in implementing our sustainability goals and is intended to serve as an example for energy recovery options in food and feed production.”
Bühler’s partnerships have been ensuring leading-edge technology development and new means of collaborating with customers and partners. Milling Solutions, together with the other business areas, started construction on a new Grain Innovation Center in Uzwil, where Bühler and its customers and partners will develop, test, and scale sustainable and efficient solutions for grain and feed processing to improve food and feed solutions. The focus will be on yield, quality, energy efficiency, and the flexibility of the plants together with recipes based on a broad variety of grains and pulses. The center is scheduled to start operations by the end of 2024.
A new Grain Processing Innovation Center in Kano, Nigeria, is also under construction and should open at the beginning of 2024. The center will be focused on the development of products, recipes, and processes using local grains such as sorghum, millets, maize, soy beans, beans, and tigernuts.
Bühler has Application & Training Centers in 23 locations around the world.
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