Equipment & Technology

GEA Inaugurates Technology Center in Germany for Alternative Protein

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Düsseldorf, Germany-headquartered GEA has opened a new Food Application and Technology Center of Excellence (ATC) in Hildesheim as a central hub for piloting processes and products for the plant-based alternative protein industry. Equipped with a cell cultivation and fermentation pilot line to fast-track innovations from the lab to commercial-scale manufacturing, the site bridges the gap between the test bench and industrial-scale production without requiring customers to invest in large-scale plant from the outset.

The ATC complements other GEA new food centers of excellence, including units for bioreactors in Hildesheim and Skanderborg, Denmark, and cell separation in Oelde, Germany.

“Establishing and scaling up a new food production facility is a major task. In many cases, new food producers are still stuck at the lab scale – with the hygiene, aseptic and process requirements that involves. On the other hand, industrial-scale manufacturing presents much greater technical and financial challenges. At the ATC, our process experts explore the potential for mass production in order to make this step manageable for food manufacturers. Ultimately, GEA and our customers want to work together on the development of safe, affordable new food products for consumers,” said Heinz Jürgen Kroner, GEA’s senior vice president for new food (pictured above at far left during the site’s ribbon cutting ceremony).

The GEA Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of systems and components for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Its international technology division, founded in 1881, focuses on machinery and plants, as well as advanced process technology, components, and comprehensive services. With more than 18,000 employees working across five divisions and 62 countries, the group generated revenues of more than €4.7 billion in fiscal year 2021.