Swiss technology group Bühler AG and the DIL Deutsches Institut for Lebensmitteltechnik, a research institute focusing on food technology and food science, have teamed up to develop new production technologies for the next generation of extruded meat substitutes, focusing on a lower environmental impact than animal meat.
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.
A key technology in terms of sustainability 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.
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.
“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.”