Accelerating new food scale-up

Date: 15.02.2024Source: GEA

GEA is investing EUR 18 million (USD 20 million) in a technology centre for alternative proteins in the state of Wisconsin, USA. The new food tech hub will pilot microbial, cell-based and plant-based foods. and GEA state-of-the-art technologies and a team of biotechnology experts form the basis for scaling new food for industrial production, which is increasingly in demand in the USA. Ground-breaking at the new GEA campus in Janesville is scheduled for spring of 2024, with the opening to follow one year later.

The USA is one of the countries promoting the development of sustainable food options through favourable regulation and openness to innovative food technologies. For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) already approved cell-cultivated chicken meat in 2022 and last year confirmed that the use of precision-fermented milk proteins in foods is safe.

Said Dr. Reimar Gutte, Senior Vice President Liquid and Fermentation Technologies, leading New Food, GEA: “A number of new food pioneers in the USA are already writing innovation history. When it comes to industrial production, the market is still on the starting blocks. GEA’s new food centre bridges a gap in the innovation landscape, driving forward the development of complementary proteins through technology.”

Added Arpad Csay, North American new food business lead: “Most new food companies are located in North America and the bulk of the investments in alternative proteins flow into this region. Consequently, there is an urgent need for scaling facilities like ours. The GEA platform in Janesville will enable manufacturers to conduct their scaling and testing work without the need to invest in their own capital-intensive infrastructure. In this way, we will help overcome scaling challenges and accelerate the industry’s growth.”

Beyond testing and validating processes, GEA also intends to promote the training of biotechnology specialists in the 10,000 square-meter building. Attached to the GEA site for homogenisers, separators, pumps and valves, which opened in December 2023, the new food experts will enhance knowledge sharing with other disciplines.

The project marks GEA’s second investment in a new food hub, which fast-tracks innovations from the lab to commercial-scale manufacturing. Prior to this, GEA inaugurated its technology centre focusing on cell cultivation and fermentation in Hildesheim, Germany, in June 2023.  For more visit gea.com

David Cox / IDM

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