Uzwil / CH. (bg) In 2019, Swiss Bühler AG opened the new Food Application Center (FAC) in Minneapolis, USA: the crowning finale of Buhler GO!2020, the virtual networking and information event for managers in the food industry. In this state-of-the-art center, Buhler will support and promote innovations among its customers, start-ups, universities, and industrial partners. In this way, Buhler and its partners aim to create economically viable and sustainable food value chains in North America.
The solutions developed at the FAC will help to feed a growing population of almost 10 billion people in 2050. «At FAC, we are learning together how to develop new products, new sources of protein, and new ways to strengthen our food supply chains,» says Andy Sharpe, CEO Buhler North America.
The new FAC was built on the basis of Buhler’s 160 years of experience in food processing. It is a platform for developing new methods of processing peas, beans, corn, pulses, oats, old grain varieties, and many other crops. This in turn can be used to create new products such as new flours, snacks, pasta, cereals and a wide range of extruded products, including plant-based meat alternatives. As a central location for the development of new products and processes, FAC has the latest raw material processing systems at its disposal. They enable the production of products ready for packaging and cover the value chain from field to plate – or from bean to burger.
«FAC is a development and application centre for the food industry. We built it to promote cooperation between food processing companies and other industry organizations. Here they can test, perfect, and successfully bring their business ideas to market side by side with the process experts from Buhler,» says Yannick Gächter, Director of the Food Application Center. Buhler’s goal is to establish a highly networked system of collaboration for innovations. Against this background, the FAC is becoming an important resource for the North American food industry. The focus is on the foods of the future and on building a more resilient, agile, and sustainable food supply chain.
Learning and education are at the heart of the FAC. The new center will promote education on technology, food processing, food safety, digitization and many other topics. The investment in the FAC strengthens Buhler’s commitment to new and innovative approaches in training and human resources development. This applies especially to the internationally recognized training program for apprentices. The FAC is used as a training base for this purpose. Moreover, the FAC will become a training center for food processing companies. At the FAC they can train their operating and maintenance personnel on topics such as efficient processing and best practices. “The new FAC is ready for innovative food processors and interested partners. They are all welcome to work together here to create and complete new and sustainable food products. This will enable them to react quickly to the rapidly changing consumption habits of end consumers,” says Gächter.