Industry-leading compounding and extrusion company Coperion has spoken to vegconomist about its highlights of 2021. Among them is the development of a new food extruder that could simplify the production of plant-based meats.
The two techniques most commonly used to produce meat alternatives are texturisation and high moisture extrusion. However, these techniques previously required two different types of machinery.
In 2021, Coperion created a new hybrid version of its ZSK Food Extruder, featuring an adaptor solution that allows for easy switching between the two processes. The new food extruder eliminates the need to have two types of equipment.
Following this innovation, Coperion won third place at the Stuttgart Innovation Award in November. Meanwhile, the company’s WYK-CIP diverter valve was certified by the USDA for use in food applications in the USA.
Coperion says demand for plant-based products has remained high in 2021, accounting for a high proportion of the company’s extrusion projects. Interest has now spread beyond the European market to other regions such as Asia, with Coperion reporting an especially positive reception at the Fooma Trade Show in Japan.
The pandemic has continued to limit the number of physical events Coperion can attend, but next year the company is looking forward to VeggieWorld in China, Anuga Food Tech in Cologne, and IFFA in Frankfurt.
“In the future, we will continue to contribute to the industry by sharing our expertise and years of experience as a machinery and equipment manufacturer,” said John Sheehy, Coperion’s Global Account Manager for Plant-Based Foods. “At the same time, we plan to develop further innovative features for our systems to meet the requirements of plant-based products. We are looking forward to the developments of the next few years and are convinced that plant-based products will change the food industry in the long run.”