Beneo ploughs €50m into new pulse processing facility

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Faba bean field © Sylvie Bouchard/Shutterstock
Faba bean field © Sylvie Bouchard/Shutterstock

Related tags Beneo pulses faba beans Protein

Beneo is investing €50m (US$52.8m) in a new pulse processing site in Offstein, Germany. The new facility will produce protein ingredients for food and feed.

The German food and feed ingredient manufacturer said the new site will initially focus on protein concentrate, starch rich flour and hulls from faba bean, with the option to process other pulses in the future.

The faba bean hulls and starch rich flour will be used in feed as a plant protein or fiber source for pet food, aqua feed and livestock nutrition, while the 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 bakery and cereals, said Beneo.

It declined to disclose the likely production capacity at the new facility.

The investment, said Beneo, is driven by the growing demand for plant-based food and feed ingredients. Data from Mintel indicates that, by 2027, some three-quarters of all protein demand will be plant-derived.

Sustainability profile

Beneo said the use of pulses as ingredients is sustainable as they help to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at farm level. “Faba beans provide nitrogen for themselves and subsequent plants and therefore nitrogen fertilization is not necessary.”

Furthermore, Faba beans help to extend crop rotation, ensuring greater farm biodiversity, said Karel Thurman, commercial director, animal nutrition, Beneo.

The beans will be locally sourced, from Germany based farmers that are certified by the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI). "We have a close relationship with our contracted farmers."

As it is manufacturing faba bean protein, starch rich flour and hulls, the crop will be fully used and completely valorized for functional ingredients, added Beneo.

It also outlined how the production process at the new facility will enable reduced energy consumption, while "green"​ electrical power will supply the factory so that it can contribute to the company's carbon neutral goals. 

Work has already begun on the construction of the Offstein-based facility, with it expected to be completed within the second half of 2024. 

Interim supply

The company though is getting ready to make these ingredients available to feed and food processors from June 2022. It will process the raw materials at intermediate production facilities, until the new factory is fully operational.  

In terms of whether the food or feed market segments would likely prove more profitable for Beneo, Thurman told us: "The need for protein rich ingredients is equally valid for food as it is for feed. It is not a case of one market being more lucrative than the other. Both the food and feed sector are essential for the complete valorization of products and co-products from our processing and therefore both sectors are equally important."

How cost-competitive will these feed ingredients be compared to soybean meal, soy protein concentrate or fishmeal? "Without a doubt the local production, absence of GMO and the sustainability of our faba bean process are benefits which our customers will value, which will allow for a price differentiated approach versus commodity ingredients,"​ said the Beneo representative.

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