Manufacturing & Technology

Clextral Introduces Texturizing Tech for Realistic Meat & Fish Whole Cuts

Clextral, a French firm specializing in machinery for food production, has developed innovative equipment for producing realistic plant-based meat and fish whole cuts: Galaxy Texturation Technology.

Designed explicitly for vegetable protein texturization, Clextral’s new patented technology enables the production of larger, softer, more fibrous products that mimic the texture of meat or fish without compromising production capacity: 400 kg of product per hour.

Gilles Maller, Senior Vice President and Head of Clextral Americas Business Unit, commented, “Creating a great product requires a 360° view of customer expectations and a deep understanding of how the product is processed.”

Clextral's Galaxy Texturation Technology for realistic whole cuts alternatives to meat and fish.
Image courtesy of Clextral

Flexibility for innovation

Clextral says its new machinery delivers unmatched product performance by combining two processes: shear cell fibrillation and continuous extrusion. As explained by the company, by combining both, the protein material undergoes shearing and then cooling, obtaining fibrous structures that emulate the texture of real meat or fish. Meanwhile, the continuous extrusion technology offers extensive possibilities for fine-tuning production processes to obtain appealing plant-based meat products.

The French company notes, that by mastering the adjustable parameters such as temperatures, cooking, cooling, pressure, shear rate, screw profile and speed, and residence time in extrusion, manufacturers can reduce production costs, innovate, and enhance product textures to create products that meet consumer demands.

“…the ‘new textural space’ opened by Galaxy Technology brings new opportunities for the production and consumption of alternative proteins.”

Clextral demonstrated the capabilities of its new manufacturing equipment for whole cuts to a group of clients during the Galaxy Première Day event, held at the R&D Center of Clextral France in mid-June. According to the company, the client’s positive feedback indicates that Galaxy is a game-changer in the field of textured proteins.

In addition to the Galaxy Texturation Technology, the French manufacturer has developed a patented High Capacity Die for high moisture extrusion (HME) that promises to significantly increase production to up to 1200 kg/h of HME product, maintain consistent quality, and simplify the process.

A meat alternative split in two to show its fibrous texture
Image supplied by Clextral

New textural space

Since the ’80s, Clextral has been a pioneer and expert in twin screw systems for the alternative protein industry. Headquartered in Firminy, France, the company designs, manufactures, and installs complete extrusion lines for various industries.

With 11 subsidiaries strategically located worldwide, including the USA, Chile, Brazil, Denmark, Russia, China, India, Australia, Vietnam, and Algeria, Clextral caters to an international clientele. It has two dedicated test centers — one in Firminy, France, and another in Tampa, USA — where it conducts extrusion trials to help manufacturers stay at the forefront of the rapidly growing alternative protein market.

The company states, “Thus, 50 years after the ‘big bang’ of twin-screw extrusion in the food industry, the ‘new textural space’ opened by Galaxy Technology brings new opportunities for the production and consumption of alternative proteins.”

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