Uzwil (Switzerland), Quakenbrück (Germany), January 11, 2021 – Bühler AG announces strategic partnership with the DIL Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik e. V. to work together on the next generation of extruded meat substitutes.
Swiss technology group Bühler AG and the DIL Deutsches Institut for Lebensmitteltechnik e. V., a research institute focusing on food technology and food science, have teamed up to develop new production technologies for healthy and sustainable food products, focusing on alternative protein-based products with a lower environmental impact than the CO2-heavy meat value chain.
Living within our planetary boundaries
By 2050, in order to meet the needs of the world’s growing population, we will have to produce more food from 35% less agricultural land. With an additional 250 million metric tons of protein required per year, the pressure on alternatives to animal-based proteins is mounting. Given the environmental impact of the current system, there is growing consensus that the food industry must change course immediately. The change is already underway in many parts of the food value chain, but to drive it faster, partnerships are essential. Announcing a new strategic partnership between Bühler AG and DIL, Ian Roberts, Chief Technology Officer, Bühler, said: “If we are to feed 10 billion people in 2050 and if we are to be able to do this and mitigate the climate change increase that we currently see, we need to build strong partnerships with purpose and we need to build those in areas where we can drive major impact.” The partnership to accelerate research and the development of new solutions for more sustainable protein production comes at a critical time, according to Volker Heinz, Director and CEO, DIL: “Within our planetary boundaries, there is no room for a further expansion of animal protein and fat production,” he says.
Alternative protein products for healthy and sustainable diet
New sustainable plant-based proteins have significantly less environmental impact, less land use, and a lower CO2 footprint than the animal meat value chain. It is therefore essential to explore and identify alternative and underused sources of protein and develop efficient technologies to convert these into attractive, marketable products. Consumer demand for sustainable and healthy food products has been growing in recent years, underlining the opportunity for the food industry to make a positive impact.
A key technology to unlock this opportunity is extrusion. Highly versatile, it enables the formation of texturized proteins with different structures from different raw materials. High moisture extrusion enables the conversion of plant proteins into food products with textures similar to meat. It is a technology in which Bühler leads the market. “With Bühler's expertise in extrusion, but also in other engineering disciplines, such as milling, plant proteins, and powder handlings, we will be able to provide new and customized solutions for our clients and for the rapidly changing market,” says Volker Lammers, Head of Research Platform Process Engineering, DIL. “With Bühler, we have a competent partner along the full protein value chain.”
The DIL campus in Quakenbrück, Germany, provides state-of-the-art food safety labs, pilot plants and research capabilities. Over 200 scientists and technologists from diverse fields of expertise collaborate with a growing number of spin-off and start-up enterprises to develop solutions that improve food safety and quality. “With DIL, we have found a great partner who can provide a food grade test and production lab combined with extensive analytical services,” says Christoph Näf, Head of Business Unit Human Nutrition, Bühler. The partnership will create a platform to support start-ups, existing customers, and future partners to develop new end products and generate synergies.
Experts join forces for positive change
“We continuously try to achieve a better understanding of the structure and functionality of foods, which we consider is the key to innovative solutions for food processing,” says Volker Heinz, Director and CEO, DIL. “On this track, we are excited to have Bühler as a partner on our side. Together we will explore the many possibilities of technological interventions to get our food system on the track towards a sustainable future.”
Billions of people come into contact with Bühler technologies as they cover their basic needs for food and mobility every day. Two billion people each day enjoy foods produced on Bühler equipment; and one billion people travel in vehicles manufactured using parts produced with Bühler machinery. Countless people wear eyeglasses, use smart phones, and read newspapers and magazines – all of which depend on Bühler process technologies and solutions. Having this global relevance, Bühler is in a unique position to turn today’s global challenges into sustainable business. Bühler contributes to safely feeding the world and is doing its part to protect the climate, producing machinery that makes cars, buildings, and machinery more energy efficient. Its aim is to reduce energy, waste, and water in its customers’ value chains by 50% by 2025. Bühler’s purpose is creating “innovations for a better world.” Bühler invests up to 5% of turnover into research and development. In 2019, some 12,800 employees generated a turnover of CHF 3.3 billion. As a Swiss family-owned company, Bühler is active in 140 countries around the world and operates a global network of 98 service stations, 32 manufacturing sites, and 25 application centers. In 2020, Bühler celebrates its 160th anniversary.
About DIL Deutsches Institut für Lebesnmitteltechnik e. V.
The DIL Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik e. V. is a research institute for food technology and food science in Germany. Over the last three decades, an internationally active institute with around 200 experts in food technology and food sciences has developed in Quakenbrück. The DIL operates as a research institute in the fields of food safety and authenticity, structure and process engineering, and sustainability.
Dalen Jacomino Panto, Media Relations Manager
Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Phone: +41 71 955 37 57
Mobile: +41 79 900 53 88
Markus Reber, Media Relations Manager
Bühler AG, 9240 Uzwil, Switzerland
Phone: +41 71 955 12 44
Mobile: +41 79 864 29 41
Marek Witkowski, Head of Communication
DIL Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik e. V.
49610 Quakenbrück, Germany
Phone: +49 5431183286
Mobile: +49 1522 3618 492