by Bühler UK Ltd
Dec 22nd, 2023
8 mins
BFFF

Whether it be fruit, protein, muesli and nut bars, wafers, cookies, chocolate, baked products, spreads or snacks, Bühler’s Food Creation Center in Uzwil is a state-of-the-art facility for product testing, production trials, training, and education. Customers will find the ideal environment and the expertise to create different foods with new raw materials, flavors, and textures. The Food Creation Center receives ingredients and processed raw materials such as flour, chocolate mass, nuts, oats, sugar, alternative proteins, and fruit – some of which also come from the other application and training centers – for processing.  

Helping to shape trends 

The global food megatrends such as premiumization, health, sustainability, affordable nutrition and on-the-go snacks that appeal to consumers provide opportunities for our customers to adapt their portfolios and marketing strategies. To help unlock these opportunities is precisely why Bühler has invested into this new center for food innovation in Uzwil. “In concrete terms, this means that we’re developing products for and with customers that correspond to these megatrends. For example, we created sugar-free protein bars made from pea protein,” says Stefanie Hardtmann, Head of Food Creation Center & Consumer Food Technology. The exchange with Bühler’s experts does not end in Uzwil but extends across the entire network in Europe and beyond. In the Food Creation Center in Uzwil, customers from the traditional bakery sector will find a fully equipped bakery with an auditorium for courses, sufficient space for training and bakery equipment for testing in various batch sizes.  

Making Food Sensations a reality  Bühler’s knowledge of current trends, its expertise in implementing them, and its global network of Food experts are the best prerequisites for implementing food sensations. With the help of Bühler, edible cups were developed that can hold hot contents for 45 minutes without leaking. “Through new combinations of process steps, we achieve results that deserve to be called sensations,” says Stefanie Hardtmann. “Another vivid example is the savory filled wafer pillow with a tomato and cheese filling. We were able to develop these together with the wafer team from Leobendorf, Austria. The pillows are a good size for snacking; they’re lightweight, low in fat and calories and have an intense, natural tomato and cheese flavor.”  In the cracker range, potato and chia seed potato chips were created, offering a gluten-free, vegan, low-fat crispy snack. There is a particularly wide variety for those with a sweet tooth, as many bar or wafer products are coated in chocolate. The Food Creation Center also produces chocolates with unusual fillings, including a vegan, gluten-free chocolate praline with a peanut-free peanut filling. The possibilities offered to customers by the center are as creative as they are varied.  

Services from A to Z 

Covering an area of 850 square meters, the Food Creation Center combines cutting-edge technology, analytical services, product, and process development, as well as workshops and training courses for Bühler’s customer experts. Stefanie Hardtmann and her team know their customers and the trends. “Thanks to our market knowledge, gained from our businesses from field to consumer, we’re able to support our customers throughout the entire innovation process along their value chains, from the raw material to the finished consumer product. We also help with the detailed development of business cases, capital expenditure analyses, and return-on-investment estimates all the way through to the first sample production or the first finished product prototype.” 

“In Uzwil, we have the smallest scale industrial production line. This means we can not only offer our customers the opportunity to test small batch sizes of a product, assess process performance and scale up to higher production scales with confidence,” explains Stefanie Hardtmann. “Product quality and process stability are two decisive criteria here,” adds Stefanie Hardtmann.  

More than snacks and chocolate bars 

The comprehensive range of applications, possibilities, and network benefits offered by Bühler’s center for food innovation at a single location is unique. Bühler is committed to supporting its customers in the food industry in feeding the world’s growing population in a sustainable and healthy way. “The opening of the four new application and training centers is an important milestone in our efforts to support our customers and partners in developing a more sustainable food system,” says Ian Roberts, CTO of Bühler. “In these centers, our customers have access to a unique combination of technology and expertise.” 

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