BVeg Foods is one of the first ventures in India equipped with high moisture extrusion (HME) technology powered by the Swiss technology group Bühler. With the recent purchase of Bühler’s extrusion solution, BVeg aims to create a center of excellence with strong in-house product development capabilities and state-of-the-art processing facility for plant-based proteins.

In another landmark for the burgeoning plant protein category, plant-based foods company BVeg Foods has chosen the Swiss multinational Bühler Group as its technology provider to bring their latest high moisture extrusion technology in the country. The collaboration with Bühler, which is one of the world’s leading extrusion solutions provider, highlights growing technological investment and the exponential pace of innovation and sustainability in the category.

Talking about their decision, BVeg Foods Co-Founder and COO Mr. Prateek Ghai stated that, “In the rapidly transforming plant-based food ecosystem, innovation is key. We believe that only by continuously innovating ourselves and delivering a diversified range of products that are customized to consumer needs can we satisfy their palates and achieve our objective of replacing conventional meat across the globe without compromising on taste or nutrition. It’s this approach we believe in here, at BVeg Foods, to build a better and more sustainable future.” COVID-19 pandemic was a challenging time for people all over the world and it was during this time that the BVeg Foods team decided to take the plunge and be the pioneer in India to invest in this game-changing technology.

Christoph Vogel, Head of Market Segment Proteins & Ingredients of Bühler Group, said, “We are very pleased to support BVeg on their journey and provide a platform for customers to accelerate their product innovations with the best processing equipment and knowledge from Bühler.” Ajith Dharan, Head of Sales for the Consumer Foods Business of Bühler Group in India, added that, “India has a huge potential to become the protein powerhouse in the region. As Bühler, we master the complete protein processing chain from farm to fork. The addition of high moisture extrusion technology that mimics meat the best with plant-based proteins is the next important step to create more value out of the pulses and follows the clear global trend towards a more plant-based diet.” This trend is driven by sustainability, health, and animal welfare, with global growth rates of approximately 12%.

The HME technology is distinctively recognized globally owing to its capability to replicate textures indistinguishable from conventional whole muscle meat such as chicken, mutton, pork, fish, etc. It enables the BVeg team to curate plant-based meat products that deliver on the required sensory parameters such as appearance, texture, taste, aroma, and mouthfeel that generally comes from whole muscle-meat based foods. The output of the extruder is equivalent to 3,000 chicken breasts per hour.

According to the Good Food Institute (GFI) Plant-based Meat Co-Manufacturing Feasibility Study, 2019, opportunity on HMTS extrusion manufacturing is prudent and is assumed to garner 90% of the market among other plant-based meat manufacturing processes.

India being an agrarian economy with bio-diverse indigenous crops has all the qualities necessary to be the epicenter for the global smart protein ecosystem. BVeg Foods is gearing up to play an instrumental role in this by extending the value chain with its own extrusion capabilities.

Transforming the plant-based food ecosystem   

BVeg Foods was established in 2019 with the objective to act as an enabler for the entire plant-based ecosystem around the globe by acting as a one-stop-shop solution provider for all plant-based food needs. It aims to transform this space by creating a center of excellence equipped with world-class Bühler’s high moisture extrusion technology, strong in-house product development capabilities and a state-of-the-art processing facility. It has the largest solely dedicated plant-based meat facility in India with a capacity of 4000MT per year. The facility will soon be accredited with best-in-class international certifications and capable of creating a vast variety of products such as formed products, center filled products, whole muscle solutions, hand folded as well as hot kitchen products as per their client’s preferences.

The companies hope that the HME capabilities will pave the way for more innovation, awareness, and acceptability, attracting more people into the plant-based food movement. Experts state that being able to replace the whole muscle element of meat eater diet with a product that is delicious, indistinguishable from meat, and also accessible in terms of price, will be the biggest achievement in this sector and BVeg Foods aims to do just that.