At GEA we begin by getting a complete picture and understanding of what food manufacturers want to achieve. Once the product is defined, we work backwards starting with the desired end-result, then identify the right processes and equipment for creating a technology solution that is both optimized and capable of producing a consistent, a high-quality product.
For decades GEA has been the trusted partner for the plant-based and meat alternative category, working hand in hand with customers from the creation of a product idea to its realization into a compelling consumer product.
GEA offers a full technology portfolio – from single machines to turnkey solutions - comprising of extrusion technology of Texturized Vegetable Proteins, cutting, mixing, emulsifying and grinding of ingredients to form a dough, and further down the line to forming, coating, frying or cooking, chilling, freezing and ultimately packaging of meat alternative and vegetable-based foods and components, destined for retail, foodservice as well as the quick-service-restaurant market
A network of GEA Technology centers is at every step of the way to support your choices with lab tests, recipe testing, equipment trials, scaling up advice, validation, training, as well as process and product optimization. Our food technologist, equipment experts and innovative machinery portfolio help manufacturers bring products to life with consistent, repeatable quality, optimized profitability, and high process control during production. Close collaboration between the GEA Extrusion Technology Center in Galliera Veneta, Italy and the Food Processing GEA Technology Center in Bakel, The Netherlands bring important advantages to customers, such as to get insight into the complete process, safeguard high quality, and fine tune to their specific needs.
So, whether you want to produce Texturized Vegetable Protein granules (TVP) or finished consumer foods like plant-based burgers, nuggets or filets, GEA is your single technology partner of choice.
Either straightforward alternatives to meat and seafood, or a brand-new innovative consumer product, GEA expertise and leading technology gives manufacturers the flexibility to create foods, based on different sources, including: frozen vegetables and vegetable-based mixes, Texturized Vegetable Proteins (TVP), soy, pea or wheat-based protein, single-cell protein (e.g., mycoprotein) and other plant-based proteins.
Hybrid versions, based largely on the above sources or new combinations are also an option, expanding the possibilities to variate and innovate in your portfolio offer. Producing in a more sustainable way by using less energy, less water and minimizing resources and waste is at the foundation of how we design our equipment and solutions. Tap into countless opportunities and benefit from GEA’s extrusion and processing technology for the plant based and vegetarian food markets.
Textured Vegetable Proteins (TVP) are created by extruding the mix of flours, which deconstructs the globular structure and then realigns it into fibers to obtain customizable products that mimic the texture of meat or fish. GEA, with its proven XTru Twin extrusion technology, offers the ability to manage variable thermo-hygrometric conditions to adapt to the characteristics of the raw material, maintain high-process temperatures for optimal texturization and protein denaturation leading to reduced solubility and water loss. This process is applicable for both dry and wet vegetable protein texturization.
GEA CutMaster bowl chopper prepares each element of the mix starting with rehydration of the Textured Vegetable Proteins, cutting the coconut butter and emulsifying the ingredients. Thanks to its vacuum technology, high rotation speed and robust design, water, oil and plant-proteins and/or binding agents are emulsified, delivering the optimum consistency, temperature and texture for the next step.
The way the ingredients are mixed defines the success of the final food product. GEA ProMix, is a flexible twin shaft mixer that caters variety of purposes. When frozen vegetables are used, tempering by steam under vacuum shortens the process and ensures workable consistency. The hydration of the plant-based proteins under vacuum, speeds up the process while moisture is better absorbed in the dough. Finally, emulsions can be mixed with herbs, spices, starch, flavor, salt and binding agents depending on the desired end product.
Griding can be used at the preparation step before mixing or after mixing of the dough in order to control the fiber length, which is important of the final product. For example, plant-based chicken needs longer fibers and minced meat or burger mimics need shorter fibers and bite. GEA ComboGrind technology can be used in combination of the respective whole plates and knifes to suit the recipe.
With GEA forming equipment there is almost no limit to the shapes and sizes you can create. Mixes are handled appropriately by different forming systems to preserve quality and structure while achieving maximum quality down the line. MaxiFormer is a high-capacity drum former for high-speed production of long-run products with excellent shape retention and weight accuracy. Alternatively GEA MultiFormer is an excellent choice when flexibility in shapes during production is required.
The right coating adds value to your food products. And now, in line with the trend towards healthier eating and lower fat intake, you need more accurate control over coating parameters. GEA industrial food coating solutions give you this control - plus the capability to cost-effectively produce an appetizing variety of products. GEA offers complete solutions for crumb breading, tempura coating and flour coating.
GEA spiral freezers and chillers discretely handle products at capacities up to 7 tons per hour. Using high-efficiency airflow and evaporators, they maximally transfer heat and optimize product quality and yield. Through energy-efficient design, our spiral freezers also satisfy industry requirements while saving costs to boost your profit.
Interested to learn how we can support you with other technology and know-how for the development and production of plant-based proteins, alternative proteins and protein-rich components? GEA has the unique position to offer a complete portfolio as an enabler of the New Food industry, by supporting start-ups, ingredient suppliers and food processors to develop, scale-up and produce the nutritious new foods consumers are looking for.
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GEA is one of the world’s largest systems suppliers for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors. Our portfolio includes machinery and plants as well as advanced process technology, components and comprehensive services. Used across diverse industries, they enhance the sustainability and efficiency of production processes globally.
GEA is listed in the German MDAX and the STOXX® Europe 600 Index and is also among the companies comprising the DAX 50 ESG and MSCI Global Sustainability Indices.
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