UZWIL, SWITZERLAND — The Bühler Group, a global leader in pulse processing solutions, has launched its PULSROLL huller to support processors to produce innovative pulse products and tap into the market for  nutritious food alternatives in which nutrient-rich pulses play a leading role. With its new fully CE and ATEX-compliant PULSROLL huller, Bühler has introduced a dedicated pulse hulling solution that removes the hull from multiple pulses, efficiently, hygienically and cost-effectively allowing worldwide pulse processors to capitalize on the compelling value-added opportunities emerging in this industry.

Bühler said there is a growing recognition of the potential that pulses hold for the creation of a wider range of food products and that is driving demand for further processed pulse-based products. Not only are pulses gluten-free and high in protein, they represent an excellent substitute for meat. Flours made from the grinding of pulses, such as chickpeas and peas, are increasingly finding their way into conventional foods such as pasta, tortillas and noodles, while ready-to-eat snacks are also benefiting from novel pulse developments that boost their health appeal, the company said.

Bühler said the dynamic trend is set to expand yet further during 2016, which the U.N. has proclaimed as “International Year of Pulses,” and this places even greater pressure on pulse processors to provide fully processed and added value pulse products to meet market demand.

“In the past, particularly in North America, pulse processing was restricted to just cleaning and then exporting,” said Surojit Basu, global product manager at Bühler. “Now, pulse processors globally are looking to adopt complete hulling and grinding operations, in order to access the increasingly desirable nutrients from the pulses, and extract greater value. Up until now, rice and grain technologies has been commonly employed for pulse hulling and has been insufficient to meet the quality and quantity requirements of modern, large-scale E.U. and U.S. processors.”

Bühler said it has responded to this industry challenge with its all-new PULSROLL, which offers pulse hullers a breakthrough technology and, uniquely, allows multiple varieties of pulses to be handled perfectly on the one machine, achieving consistently uniform dehulling at the highest of throughputs. Critically, the hygienically-designed PULSROLL™ provides pulse processors with the vital CE and ATEX certification they require to operate safely in today’s increasingly regulated and highly automated industry.

Dedicated to the processing of all major pulses from dry yellow and green peas, to pigeon peas, chickpeas, mung beans and lentils, and drawing on just 15 horsepower – half the power consumption of an average huller –
to fulfil on an industry-leading capacity of four tonnes per hour, the PULSROLL offers not just all-in-one pulse hulling but also gives processors dramatic savings in energy and therefore significantly reduced production costs, Bühler said.

Pulses are fed by gravity, through the pulse huller, into its milling chamber, where they are subjected to the frictional forces created between several grinding stones and sieves in order to separate the hull from the valuable pulse within. By fine tuning the “gap” between the sieves and grinding stones, processors using the new PULSROLL can now easily adjust the grind to suit different incoming product. Crucially, the inclination, dictating the flow of the product inside the hulling chamber, can also be altered quickly and easily to accommodate different pulses, the company said.
Pivotal to the successful operation of the PULSROLL is its machine-crafted sectionalized emery grinding stones. These come in varying grit sizes to fulfil the requirements of the specific pulse to be hulled, to ensure optimal hulling performance, with minimal broken product. Hygiene is underscored through the use of rubber seals between these stones, which prevent dead zones that could otherwise cause the capture of residual product. This special design feature reduces the potential for microbial contamination, product accumulation or product cross-contamination during changeover, allowing for easier cleaning of the machine and the more rapid and efficient switch from one product to another, Bühler said.

“Among other technical developments within the PULSROLL are its long-life emery grinding stones that typically allow the processing of a minimum of 10,000 tonnes before a change,” said Surojit Basu. “This is significantly higher than the industry average and reduces downtime and maintenance requirements, and their associated costs.”

Basu confirmed that the robust new and exclusive pulse huller has been created with wear-resistance, ease of use, hygiene and quality defining every element.

“An innovative sieve assembly ensures the milling surface is maintained throughout the life of the stones, while a strong structural design prolongs the overall life of the machine, and provides the ultimate in product quality time after time,” he said.