Beneo makes key €50 million pulse processing site investment
Functional ingredients business Beneo has unveiled plans for a €50 million new pulse processing site in Offstein, Germany, with a broad array of application potential including for snacks and confectionery, reports Neill Barston.
The company, which works across the wider food sector, has previously devised a broad series of industry product solutions, and its latest development follows a key investment into chicory root fibre innovations within the prebiotic market segment
Its latest site will reportedly produce protein rich pulse ingredients, based initially on protein concentrate, starch rich flour and hulls from Faba beans. The soon-to-be created production site further strengthens the company’s plant-based protein portfolio and enables the company to meet growing demand for plant-based food, as well as feed ingredients.
As the business asserted, the plant-based protein trend is here to stay, with sector forecasts predicting that by 2027, 75% of all protein demand will be vegetal, while products using these proteins are expected to reach 11% CAGR between 2020-2027.
There is also growing popularity for pulses, with pea and Faba bean considered the rising star ingredients of new product launches worldwide, having achieved a CAGR of 20% between 2016-21.
As the company noted, pulses help to reduce green house gas emissions at farm level. For example, Faba beans provide nitrogen for themselves and subsequent plants and therefore nitrogen fertilisation is not necessary.
The Faba beans will be locally sourced from farmers that are certified by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) and thus follow sustainability standards. As Beneo is manufacturing Faba bean protein, starch rich flour and hulls, the crop will be fully used and completely valorised for functional ingredients.
Furthermore, the production process has been chosen for its low energy consumption in comparison to alternative processes; overall contributing to Beneo’s carbon neutrality and sustainability targets.
Work has already begun on constructing the plant and is expected to be completed within the second half of 2024, creating up to 25 jobs at the Offstein site. However, to ensure that food and feed customers can benefit as soon as possible from Faba bean ingredients, BENEO will process the raw ingredients in intermediate production facilities, until the new plant is fully operational. This means that first quantities of Beneo’s Faba bean ingredients will be available from the start of June 2022 onwards.
BENEO’s Faba bean protein concentrate and starch rich flour will be used for protein-enrichment and texture improvement in meat and dairy alternatives, as well as (gluten-free) bakery and cereals.
Christoph Boettger, member of the Executive Board at Beneo, said: “The recent investment by BENEO into a new pulse production site is only the starting point. We strongly believe in plant-based ingredients and therefore see the new plant as an important first step in enlarging our protein offering moving forwards. This will enable us to produce a wider variety of sustainable plant-based protein ingredients over the coming years.”