Bühler has announced the launch of PolyCool 1000, a new high-capacity cooling die for high-moisture plant-based meat substitutes.

Together with an extruder, PolyCool 1000 reportedly provides an efficient and flexible solution for food producers creating sustainable plant-based meat or fish alternatives. For the first time, the PolyCool 1000 allows a throughput of more than 1,000kg per hour.

According to Bühler, cooling dies work with extrusion technology to create structures and textures that closely resemble animal-based meat products such as chicken, fish or beef.

The company claims that its PolyCool 1000 cooling die – in combination with an extruder – enables the production of wet-textured proteins based on a wide range of raw materials, including soy, pulses, oilseeds, upcycled side streams like brewer spent grains, as well as newer ingredients such as microalgae.

“Bühler has for many years supported food producers in developing innovative products that offer an attractive alternative to animal meat – products that are similar in terms of fibre structure, colour, texture, and taste,” said Christoph Vogel, head of market segment proteins & ingredients.

“With the PolyCool 1000, customers can achieve high-capacity production, bringing down costs and making meat substitutes more affordable,” he added.

The high-capacity cooling die can withstand pressures of up to 50 bar, as it cools down the extrudate from around 150 ºC to below boiling point. It also enables the production of products of different shapes and structures and the individual cooling circuits can each be controlled independently.

PolyCool 1000 joins and completes Bühler’s range of high-moisture cooling dies including PolyCool 500 and PolyCool 50.

With its new product, Bühler aims to meet the growing demand of plant-based proteins as a sustainable solution. “As the market shifts to a more plant-based diet, fuelled by consumers’ growing interest in health, sustainability and ethical concerns, the PolyCool 1000 supports food producers in grasping this opportunity,” said Vogel.

Last month, Bühler announced a new partnership with the Deutsches Institut für Lebensmitteltechnik (DIL) to advance the development of sustainable protein products.