Process and control today Bühler opens insect technology center to help customers in the feed and food industry

The Bühler Group officially opens its world-class insect technology center (ITC). Located in Uzwil, Switzerland, the facility combines Bühler’s expertise and the best infrastructure to help the industry grow further. At ITC, Bühler and its customers can test the growth of larvae with different raw materials, develop product samples, evaluate breed solutions and conduct training. The ITC, which received funding from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) for its contribution to a more sustainable food system, is already working.

“The opening of the Insect Technology Center is an important stage in our journey. In recent years, we have gained experience and maturity to serve various customers in the insect industry with the most adequate and reliable solutions. With our new facility, we are expanding our services and can better support our customers in setting up an industrial insect plant, ”says Andreas Baumann, Head of Insect Technology in the market segment at Bühler.

At the heart of the Center are two insect growth chambers that can mimic the conditions of industrial production. These cameras have an advanced climate control system and are equipped with multiple sensors that provide valuable information about the process. Based on the collected data, the right parameters and practices can be determined to finally ensure efficient insect production on an industrial scale. At ITC, it is possible to work with the two most suitable types of insects for industrial production, namely black soldiers and mealworms.

“A company that wants to build an industrial insect plant needs to cover several operational aspects. This includes finding the right raw material for breeding larvae, ensuring that there is a strong and suitable insect strain for breeding, determining appropriate climatic settings for the larvae growth cycle or obtaining emission data needed for the issuance process. permission, “said Andreas Baumann. All these topics are essential for a successful insect plant project and can be addressed at Bühler’s new Insect Technology Center. In addition to the services offered to customers, the Bühler team will conduct its own tests, thus continuously improving technology and services for the insect market.

Accelerate insect plant projects

The ITC aims to accelerate large-scale insect initiatives. Using the new test facility, customers may not have to invest in expensive pilot plants to demonstrate technological feasibility. Seeing industrial insect technology in action makes it tangible, allowing customers to directly imagine commercially attractive plant sizes. Because insect growth chambers are mobile, they can be sent to any location, making the infrastructure accessible to customers around the world. “Combined with the operational exchange of know-how, we see huge potential to reduce the total time from the project idea to a successful plant,” says Andreas Bauman.

Contribution to the circular economy

Bühler is committed to ambitious goals that will help mitigate climate change and build a more sustainable food system. Insects are a healthy and sustainable source of protein for food and feed. In addition, their fraction can be used as fertilizer, contributing to the model of production of a circular economy. The insect feed protein market is expected to reach half a million metric tons in 2030. Until then, the pet food sector is expected to absorb 30% and aquaculture 40% of total insect protein. “We are committed to supporting the industry to reach its full potential. In recent years, we have reached maturity and built skills to help the industry grow further. With proven technology in our portfolio, we are ready to enable our customers to market insect-based products, ”explains Andreas Bauman.

You can visit the Insect Technology Center during the Bühler 2022 Network Days.

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