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Alternative proteins

Expanding production effectively with ANDRITZ

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International technology Group ANDRITZ is expanding its range of products for the food and animal feed industries to include solutions for the production of alternative proteins. For Dr. Christian Kling, Director Business Development Alternative Protein Solutions at ANDRITZ, the market has great potential. In an interview, he explains how the step from laboratory to industrial scale can succeed with ANDRITZ as an experienced partner.


Dr. Kling, in your perspective, what level of contribution do you anticipate alternative proteins making towards addressing the nutritional needs of the expanding global population?

Meeting the ever-growing global population's food needs remains a fundamental challenge, both presently and in the future. The primary concern lies in identifying sustainable methods to enhance the availability of protein. An established example of this is the utilization of alternative protein sources to create substitutes for traditional meat products. This sector already constitutes a substantial market with considerable growth prospects. However, it fails to fully satisfy the requirements of consumers who still desire meat in their diets, particularly in regions with high population growth rates, where per capita meat consumption lags behind that of the Western world. This discrepancy has led to a robust demand for sustainable alternatives in protein sourcing. ANDRITZ has directed its efforts toward plant-based sources like peas, pulses, and oilseed crops, as well as insect proteins and byproducts such as animal residues and spent grains, which are deemed the most pertinent and impactful options. Our focus centers on developing more efficient and eco-friendly technologies capable of delivering protein that is both more nutritious and functionally versatile. These innovations are essential in order to meet the increasing demand within the feed and food industries.

How do you see the future development of different protein sources, such as plant-based options, insect proteins or others?

Proteins from plants, like peas and soy, are already used in food for people and animals. These have been around for some time. Soon, there will be more kinds of plant proteins available, like fava beans, chickpeas, hemp, and canola. Using insects to make protein is a new idea, especially in food for animals and pets. Some people are still unsure about it. But insects can help us make more protein without needing more resources, which is a good thing. We believe that insect protein has a bright future. Making meat in a lab using cells is another exciting idea. But there are some challenges. It can be expensive, and we need to find ways to make it cheaper. We also need to make sure we have enough raw materials and equipment. And finally, broad consumer acceptance and improved sustainability footprint on industrial scale needs to be validated. For ANDRITZ, we see a lot of potential in lab-grown meat in the medium to long term.

What about circular economy in the alternative proteins market?

When we think about protein resources worldwide, it's important to use them in a smarter way. That's why using leftover materials like spent grains or leftover parts from animals, either directly or by using them as food to raise insects, can be excellent ways to get more protein and increase revenue streams.

How does technology play a crucial role in enhancing production capacity?

Making sure we can produce things in a sustainable way is really important for the success of this industry. There isn't just one way to do it because different materials need different methods. So, picking the right method is crucial. We're ready to help with the right solutions for all our customers because we have a wide range of options and the ability to test and make sure they work in our new test center in Waddinxveen, Netherlands. We are always working on new ideas and ways to make things better and more efficient. It’s also important that the processes we use are gentle but still cost-effective. A great example here is the recently developed and launched Turbex, a novel unit operation utilizing the power of cavitation to achieve fast, mild, and efficient extraction. This can also be tested in our new test center in Waddinxveen.

How do you see the market developing in the coming years?

Many alternative protein options have already gone through the initial phase of high expectations, and now it's crucial to make them widely available. This is where a partner who can efficiently expand and execute production becomes crucial. ANDRITZ is here to fill that role. We firmly believe that alternative proteins will continue to grow in importance beyond just being used in animal feed and human food. They are a critical part of meeting the needs of a growing global population.

What are ANDRITZ’ various solutions for this market?

At ANDRITZ, we pay special attention to plant-based proteins, insects, and leftover materials, especially those from animals. We work closely with our customers to create custom solutions that match their needs. This depends on the materials they use, the conditions at their sites, and the quality of the final product they want. With over 170 years of experience and a wide range of solutions for the food and feed industry, we are ready for any challenge. To make sure we can smoothly transition from small-scale to large-scale production, we have opened a new testing center in Waddinxveen, Netherlands in October 2023. This test center will help us develop, improve, test, and expand protein processes. As experts in separating materials, we are always working on making extraction processes better. We aim to be more efficient, gentler, and to produce more valuable proteins. These proteins will taste better, be more nutritious, and work better for various applications. We are also experts in extrusion, which means we can turn protein powders directly into meat alternatives. This adds more value for our customers. And after we install our equipment, we don't stop helping. We have resources for automation and a global network of service specialits to make sure our customers' plants keep running smoothly and perform even better.

What are the plans for the future?

ANDRITZ recognizes that the adoption of alternative proteins has shifted from being just a trend to reality. As a result, we have already made investments and will continue to do so in this field. Our goal is to become the preferred partner for producers of alternative proteins, supporting them from the initial idea stage all the way through to fully operational production processes. We are committed to ensuring the smooth operation of these processes throughout their lifespan.

Dr. Christian Kling Andritz

Dr. Christian KlingAndritz



Dr. Christian Kling

Business Development Director Alternative Protein Solutions

ANDRITZ Separation GmbH

Edmund-Rumpler-Straße 6A, 51149 Köln / Germany

p: +49 2203 5752-224, m: +49 151 155 414 03,