BENEO invests €50 million in pulse-processing plant

Marking an important milestone for BENEO, extending its footprint into the fast-growing market for sustainably produced plant-based protein ingredients
BENEO invests €50 million in pulse-processing plant

Photo - Beneo

BENEO, one of the leading manufacturers of functional ingredients, has announced a €50 million investment in a new 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 new 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.

The plant-based protein trend is here to stay. It is predicted that by 2027, 75% of all protein demand will be vegetal[i], while products using these proteins are expected to reach 11% CAGR between 2020-2027[ii]. 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[iii].

Throughout BENEO’s entire supply chain, sustainability is top of mind. 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. Faba bean hulls and starch rich flour will be used in feed as a vegetal protein or fibre source for sustainable petfood, 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.”

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