At the end of 2020, GEA received a multi-million-euro equipment order destined for the plant-based beverages growth market. The industrial technology group will build a new production plant for producing oat, rice and soy base for beverages and hand it over to Laiterie de Saint-Denis-de-l’Hôtel (LSDH), one of France’s leading manufacturers of liquid food and vegetable products. All process steps, from the raw material intake of grains and flour to in-line standardization, will be incorporated into the plant, which is scheduled for stepwise commissioning from mid-2022. What’s more, GEA will supply a pilot plant for product development. The project is associated with a European protein research centre and subsidized under a national economic stimulus program.
Based in the Centre-Val de Loire region, LSDH is an independent French family business that was originally established as a dairy but now produces and packages a variety of beverages and liquid foods, which are mainly retailed as store brands in the country’s major supermarket chains. With GEA’s process technology, LSDH aims to further expand its position on the market for plant-based beverages. The new plant, which is being built at the company’s headquarters in Saint-Denis-de-l’Hôtel, is part of a EUR 300 million investment program to modernise LSDH’s production infrastructure. For the first time, LSDH will be able to extract the oat, rice and soy concentrates on its own production line.
Said Luc Gillis, head of GEA’s business in France and the Maghreb countries: “LSDH is significantly expanding its vertical range of manufacture. We feel very honoured that the company has chosen to partner with GEA in taking this important step. Throughout its history, LSDH has proven that it is not only highly attuned to consumer trends but also has the foresight as a business to unreservedly embrace change. When milk quotas were introduced in 1984, LSDH began using its technology to process other foods. Now, the company is once again investing in its infrastructure and its fitness for the future. In view of the uncertainty created by the pandemic, this decision deserves the greatest respect.”
GEA will hand over a turnkey plant for continuous extraction to LSDH. This entails combining processing technologies, such as soaking, milling, separation through decanting, enzyme deactivation, starch hydrolysis, blending, homogenisation and pasteurisation, with the engineering expertise required to plan, automate and operate the plant. As a single source for all components in the extraction process, GEA shows its strength as a process integrator.
Said Heinz-Jürgen Kroner, responsible for liquid and filling technologies at GEA: “GEA regards plant-based applications as a strategic growth area, thanks not only to rising global demand for these products, but also to our technology portfolio and comprehensive project experience. As a result, we are able to support our clients throughout the entire process, right up to providing services once production gets underway.”
With the new plant, LSDH will be able to produce 14 tons of soy and cereal concentrate per hour. For more visit gea.com