Functional ingredient manufacturer Beneo has announced a €50m ($50.3m) investment in a pulse processing site in Offstein, Germany. The site will produce protein-rich pulse ingredients for food and animal feed. It will focus initially on protein concentrate, starch rich flour and hulls from faba bean, with the option to process other pulses in the future. The production site further strengthens the company’s plant-based protein portfolio and enables Beneo to meet growing demand for plant-based food and feed ingredients.
Sustainability is prioritised throughout the company’s supply chain, it says. Pulses help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at farm level. For example, faba beans provide nitrogen for themselves and subsequent plants, eliminating the need for nitrogen fertilisation. The beans will reportedly be sourced from farmers certified by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI). As Beneo is manufacturing bean protein, starch rich flour and hulls, it says, the crop will be completely converted to functional ingredients.
The production process has been chosen for its low energy consumption in comparison to alternative processes, the company says.
Work has begun on the plant and is expected to be completed within H2 2024, creating up to 25 jobs at the Offstein site. However, the company plans to process the raw ingredients in intermediate production facilities, until the plant is fully operational, meaning the first quantities of its faba bean ingredients will be available from June 2022 onwards.
The protein concentrate and starch rich flour will be used for applications in protein-enrichment and texture improvement in meat and dairy alternatives, as well as (gluten-free) bakery and cereals. Faba bean hulls and starch rich flour will be able to be used in feed as a vegetal protein or a fibre source for sustainable pet food, aquafeed and livestock nutrition.
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.”