Leading functional ingredients producer BENEO has announced it will be opening a new fava bean processing plant in Offstein, Germany.
The facility will process the beans — and potentially other pulses at a later date — into protein concentrate, flour, and hulls. Companies will be able to use the fava-derived ingredients to improve the protein content and texture of meat and dairy alternatives, as well as to produce gluten-free bakery and cereal products.
Costing €50 million, the new site will help BENEO strengthen its portfolio and meet the growing demand for plant-based proteins. Though the construction of the plant is not expected to be complete until late 2024, BENEO is set to begin producing fava bean ingredients at its existing facilities from June.
Investing in plant proteins
Demand for fava beans is growing rapidly, as they continue to gain popularity as an alternative to soy. It has been suggested that the beans could play a key role in the global transition to plant-based proteins, and the fava market is expected to be worth $3.47 billion by 2025.
BENEO is not just investing in fava protein — in 2019, the company built a €4.3 million production facility in Wanze, Belgium, producing functional plant-based ingredients derived from chicory roots, beet sugar, rice, and wheat.
“The recent investment by BENEO into a new pulse production site is only the starting point,” said Christoph Boettger, Member of the Executive Board at BENEO. “We strongly believe in plant-based ingredients and therefore see the new plant as an important first step in enlarging our protein offering moving forward. This will enable us to produce a wider variety of sustainable plant-based protein ingredients over the coming years.”