Bühler Inc, a leader in process engineering and technology for food, feed and advanced industrial materials, has announced the building completion of its new Food Application Center (FAC). The next phase will be installation of equipment and commissioning. The pilot plant facility is planned to be fully operational by July 2019.

The Food Application Center (FAC) will feature a series of innovative technologies for processing corn, pulses, ancient grains, and many other food ingredients. It includes an advanced grain and raw ingredient cleaning section, de-hulling lines, the unique Prime Masa process (for Nixtamal flour), a complete grinding and milling system, as well as flaking and extrusion lines.

“The Buhler FAC will be a playground for customers. You can come with a concept of a new product, and we will have the capabilities to test and combine different processes at an industrial scale, developing normal or special flours, flakes or extruded goods ready to cook or ready to eat” explains Daniel Garcia, process engineer at Bühler. Aidin Milani, sales manager for pulses processing adds: “Pulses processing is a new technological area and the FAC will boost its development. North America is a major producer of pulses and food producers in the region are becoming more and more interested in developing and using highly functional and nutritional pulse-based ingredients.” Tino Boehm, sales manager for specialty milling complements: “The FAC will also be very important to develop innovative milling processes. For example, we will be equipped to produce Nixtamal flour, a special corn flour applied on the traditional Mexican tortillas and Nixtamal based products”.

Expectations are high. The building is finished and the equipment will be installed by the end of April. The startup phase then begins and will be concluded by end of June 2019. Daniel Garcia explains “The FAC has a combination of many processes. It’s a world of possibilities! We will invest two months to do the start up and make sure all pieces will function seamlessly”. By July 2019 the FAC will be ready for the first trials with customers. Aidin Milani and Tino Boehm are already organizing the application center agenda. “We are looking forward to have the FAC ready for trials and demos. It will also be important for trainings and to test new equipment” concludes Milani.