Efficient separation of plant-based proteins
Engineering company Flottweg specialises in separation technologies. In the past few years, the company has focused on the extraction of plant-based proteins. “The Netherlands is in the vanguard of the protein transition. With our efficient separation technology, we can contribute significantly to this transition.”
“There are many different kinds of plant-based proteins, and they all have their own characteristics. Potato protein is very different from soya protein, for instance. That is why we need a variation of technologies to efficiently extract the protein. This is Flottweg’s forte. We are prepared to share our knowledge of proteins and separation technologies, and we would like to join forces with other companies. Therefore, in October 2021, we joined the Foodvalley network, Innovation field Protein Shift and the Protein Cluster”, Liselotte van Donselaar explains. She is the owner of Flottweg Nederland.
Optimising protein extraction
Liselotte continues: “We have noticed that protein producing companies quite often have an imperfect protein separation process. Frequently, the process consists of more steps than necessary. We can help businesses optimise their production processes.”
Vasco Verlaan, head of sales for the Netherlands, adds: “Dehydration is an important efficiency step. By removing the water from the ‘sludge’ you can concentrate and purify plant-based proteins from soya, lupine, potato or peas, but also from algae or insects. This helps to keep the costs manageable for the processes further down the line.”
Market leader in separation technology
Flottweg started out by producing an ‘easy riding’ motorcycle. And in the early sixties, Flottweg marketed its first decanter centrifuge. Today, the company is market leader: rare is the food manufacturer that does not own a Flottweg machine. The German engineering company has a workforce of about 900 people in Germany alone. Flottweg also has set up branches all over the world, including the Netherlands. Besides protein extraction, the company has vast experience with the separation of other valuable elements, such as (potato) starch, fermentation products, oil from avocados or organic particles from washing water used by fruit and vegetables processors.
Adding knowledge to knowledge
“Each and every machine is custom-made for the client. If it’s for a new source of protein, we conduct research in our own labs to determine whether the protein really is extractable. The next step is to construct try-out machines to see which technique produces the best results. Filtration or centrifugation, for example. The client has a thorough knowledge of his own product, to which we add our knowledge of extraction technology. This is what we plan to do within the Foodvalley network as well”, Vasco concludes.
Liselotte van Donselaar
Owner of Flottweg Nederland