Bühler confirms Interpack showcases, including delivering cocoa application centre plans

Equipment and systems group Bühler has unveiled plans for its core solutions for confectionery and bakery at this year’s Interpack, as it also reveals a new cocoa application centre at its Swiss headquarters, writes Neill Barston.

With the key Dusseldorf event for packaging and processing markets just a week away, the business noted that while there still remain challenges in supply chains, impacted by the ongoing war in Ukraine, influencing energy and raw materials prices, it is set to press ahead with a number of innovations that will gain an imminent event debut.

Taking place between May 4-10, Interpack drew a major global audience of 170,000 for its last pre-pandemic edition held in 2017, with plans to hold the subsequent show in 2020 hit by Covid-19 restrictions, which led to its ultimate cancellation before reverting to its latest iteration – which has promised a host of launches across the sector.

As Bühler asserted, the company “is back in full swing,” highlighting a broad array of its portfolio, including advanced process engineering for cocoa, chocolate, coffee, nuts, wafer, biscuit, pasta, and sustainable proteins but its commitment to serving customers throughout their innovation journey, from project ideation, delivery of the solutions, optimisation of the lines, to maintenance.

Significantly, the business noted that its new Cocoa Application Centre, based in Bühler’s headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland, will also open its doors to customers later this year.

“With our brand-new flavour creation centre for cocoa, nuts, and coffee, we showcase an integrated factory from raw cocoa beans to moulded products, our proven nut expertise, which spans the entire range of nuts processing, or our ultimate coffee passion in roasting and grinding,” explains Manuel Hoehener, Head of R&D Chocolate & Coffee at Bühler Group.

To support the customers throughout the entire production process, Bühler is also building a new Food Creation Centre in Uzwil this autumn, which combines the best of Bühler’s solutions (in bakery, wafers, bars, biscuits) and showcases the future of food in an integrated way.

“Under the motto ‘Driving the future of food – with sustainable solutions,’ we not only propose solutions that address key sustainability issues, food security, and consumer trends, but also inspire our customers to innovate. We support them in every step of their journey, from the project idea, conception, to product development, we develop and deliver the solutions, and move on together with services and maintenance of the lines,” says Thomas Bischof (below), Global Head of Business Development Consumer Foods at Bühler Group.



Together with its customers and partners, with the common desire to accelerate impact across industries and on global scale, Bühler has committed to having solutions ready to multiply by 2025 that reduce energy, waste, and water by 50% in the value chains of its customers. It has also developed a pathway to achieve a 60% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in its operations by 2030, meaning Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scopes 1 & 2, against a 2019 baseline.

Furthermore, as the company noted, wafers have become more popular among consumers over the last few years as they are a convenient food, ready to eat and easily accessible. This market has been driven by an increasing demand for healthy snacks. At Interpack, the business will launch a new wafer baking plate, which brings about a perfect fusion of stable frame and innovative inlet for exceptional even heat distribution.

Another highlight is Bühler’s SWAKT-Eco wafer baking oven, a premium solution for the fully automatic industrial production of flat and hollow wafers, designed to reduce gas consumption and emissions. Two electrical tunnel baking ovens – DirectBake E and Turbu E − are sustainable alternatives for the industrial production of biscuits, cookies, crackers, and cakes as they are developed to achieve highest product quality with reduced carbon emissions during the baking process.

Within confectionery, it will also be displaying its recently introduced  ChocoX solution, a chocolate modular moulding line that combines flexibility and agility in production and hygienic design, resulting in significantly lower operational costs. Thanks to integrated control boxes that replace all central switch cabinets, the new line comes with a reduced footprint.

Greater energy efficiency is one of the prime benefits of the new hammer mill Granulex 5 series as well, with 10% reduction in energy consumption per ton, and in some cases the reduction can be as much as 30%. Launched in 2022, it combines a groundbreaking modular system that offers flexibility and energy savings while maintaining the highest product quality and safety standards.

Plant-based alternatives

Plant-based proteins have been part of the solution when the topic is feeding a global population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050 in a sustainable way. “We have been active in the field of plant-based alternatives for a long time before the market experienced the boom. We bring this expertise and cutting-edge technology to support the needs of the customers,” says Christoph Vogel, Head of Business Unit Human Nutrition at Bühler Group. Bühler offers a complete palette of solutions for the protein value chain from bean to burger. The customer can also test new products, shapes, recipes, textures, flavours, technologies and optimise production process in one of Bühler’s application centres worldwide.

As the company added, it has now forged training facilities in 23 countries and keeps expanding this network, offering a collaborative platform to inspire and innovate. In June 2022, Bühler announced a strategic partnership with German engineering company endeco to drive forward pulse processing, meet growing demand for alternative sources of protein, and develop pulse processing solutions with a significantly lower CO2 footprint.

All Application & Training Centres in Uzwil produce about 550 tons of biomass annually. To recover the energy from this biomass, Bühler is partnering with Vyncke, a company that specialises in converting biomass into clean energy, to build a test centre for energy recovery in Uzwil. The plant is scheduled to be operational at the end of the year.

MISTA, an innovation platform for the food industry based in San Franciso, US, is also part of Bühler’s innovation ecosystem. With its extrusion solution and expertise, Bühler can support customers in the region in their innovation journeys. In Brazil, the Tropical Innovation Lab should open its doors later this year. Developed by Bühler, Givaudan, and Cargill in collaboration with the Food Tech Hub Latam and the Institute of Food Technology (ITAL), the lab will provide start-ups, companies, universities, and research institutions with direct access to high-end technologies and a network of experts.

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