LSDH Group announces that its soy plant in France is now fully operational. The new plant is part of a facility owned by LSDH in partnership with Sofiprotéol, an investment company dedicated to the production of plant-based beverages.
LSDH states that the company invested €32 million as part of its ambition to be a key player in France’s plant-based beverage ingredient market. The plant, with a surface area of 9,000 square meters, will have the capability to offer local soy ingredients that can be used in plant-based yogurts, ice creams, and cheeses.
The business was initially established as a dairy company and now employs 2,000 staff. Its products are sold mainly as store brands in major supermarket chains around France and reportedly generated a turnover of EUR 965 million in 2021.
Additionally, the plant has a production capacity of 100 million liters of plant-based beverages per year and will produce raw juices for the food industry and finished products (fresh juice and long-life juice) for mass distribution. Sofiprotéol has acquired a 15% minority stake in the new project.
State of the art Bühler tech
Located in the municipality of Loiret, the facility features innovative pulse storage and processing technology from Bühler, which delivered and commissioned the dry-processing section of the facility. The cleaning and dehulling process line has an output capacity of 3 tons per hour and the soybean storage capacity is 240 tons.
“It was quite reassuring for us to work with a partner who knows the business well, who has a strong background in soybean dehulling and experience in processing soybeans for plant-based beverages. We knew that there were already lines and plants equipped with Bühler technology for this type of application,” explains Thibaud Bombart, project manager, LSDH Group.
“We were delighted to take part in this innovation journey with LSDH, combining our forces to develop sustainable value chains, as Bühler has many years of experience and solid expertise in processing pulses,” says Frederic Bobineau, Sales Manager at Bühler Group. “The installed plant is specific for soy processing, however, there is space for installing additional processing lines for other raw materials, such as oat flour and oat flakes, and we have the technology.”
“We have now installed the line for the processing of soybean, but we do not intend to stop there. Besides soy there are many other ingredients, such as quinoa, spelt, buckwheat, barley, and sunflower, that can be used for plant-based beverages, and we want to find the best way to produce them, especially those with high levels of protein. For that, we count on Bühler’s expertise and technology going forward,” adds Thibaud Bombart