UZWIL, SWITZERLAND —Bühler Group and German engineering company endeco are partnering to drive forward pulse processing, meet growing demand for alternative sources of protein and develop pulse processing solutions with a significantly lower CO2 footprint with a new Protein Application Center, the companies announced June 28.

Endeco, a starch and protein plant design and construction specialist, and processing technologies market leader Bühler have agreed to build a new Protein Application Center at Bühler’s headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland, to offer customers end-to-end solutions, from bean to burger, including all wet and dry processing.

Plant protein processing is a key technology in sustainably meeting the healthy human nutrition needs of a growing global population. Endeco brings decades of experience designing and implementing starch and protein plants, making a perfect match with Bühler’s processing technologies. 

“Together we can cover the whole value chain,” said Johannes Wick, chief executive officer of Business Grains & Food for Bühler. “Endeco provides the final missing piece for Bühler between the mill and pulse processing. We are already the market leader in dry processing technology. With this strategic partnership, we add expertise in wet processing technology and will be able to offer full end-to-end solutions from bean to burger.”

The new Protein Application Center in Uzwil will increase know-how and drive the further development of processes for the production of meat substitute products. It will provide customers visiting Uzwil the chance to see for themselves how they can leverage the full integration of upstream and downstream processes, opening up many new opportunities.

Endeco said the agreement represents an opportunity to contribute its expertise in plant engineering and construction to this growing market. 

“We offer a complete process plant for starch and protein production. When we started developing plants for pulse processing in 2005, the valuable part was the starch; today, it is the protein,” said Karl-Heinz Bergmann, owner and chief executive officer of endeco. “Together with Bühler, we will not only help meet growing demand for more sustainable sources of protein, but also improve the environmental footprint of the processing technology itself.”

Pulses are promising ingredients that provide a good source of protein. They can be used to create breads, pastas, beverages and meat substitutes. With growing consumer demand for gluten-free and vegan food, demand for pulse flour is predicted to grow by 10% by 2025 compared to 2017.

The Protein Application Center, which will be managed and operated by endeco, will be integrated into Bühler’s existing infrastructure for plant-based protein processing, connecting the Grain Innovation Center and Extrusion Application Center at Uzwil. Endeco will continue with its other operations at its site in Buchholz-Mendt, Germany.