Tereos inaugurated at the Tereos Marckolsheim site in Alsace a pilot unit to produce food based on plant proteins, which is dedicated to the product’s first commercialisation on the market of mass catering firms. The cooperative group Tereos is a union of 12,000 growers with recognised expertise in processing sugar beet, sugar cane, and cereals. With 49 industrial sites, operations in 16 countries, and 24,000 committed employees, the French group supports its customers close to their markets with a broad and complementary range of products. In 2015/16, it generated €4.2 billion in revenues.
“The inauguration of this industrial pilot unit – Alexis Duval, CEO of Tereos, stated – is an important step in the work Tereos has been conducting around plant proteins for many years. It demonstrates the Group’s great capacity to innovate and develop new products that cater for the world’s evolving food needs.”
Global population growth predictions indicate that the planet’s need for protein will double by 2050. Animal proteins, which now make up 70% of the world’s protein consumption, will no longer be able to meet the increased demand on their own. Given these coming changes, “Tereos is convinced that one way to respond to the future nutritional needs of the world population is to develop plant proteins”.
Tereos dedicates nearly 50% of its R&D budget to nutrition, and is the world’s second-largest producer of native wheat protein. As a long-standing player in this sector, the French group has been making innovations in native wheat protein extraction for over 20 years.
After a phase of research and development, this year Tereos is set to launch a pilot production unit, allowing initial commercialisation on the mass catering market. This new product, referred to as “GenVie” during its development phase, will be commercialised under the brand name “Le sauté végétal” on the mass catering market.
Prepared in shredded form, “Le sauté végétal” is 100% plant-based, and composed of wheat proteins and chickpea flour, all from French agricultural commodities. Thanks to its patented process, which received an award at the French “World Innovation Contest” in 2015, Tereos has developed a healthy, tasty, easy-to-cook product that is ideal for all recipe types.
Although France has all the advantages required to become a world agricultural and industrial leader in the production of plant proteins, it is largely dependent on imported proteins. The development of sectors that process agricultural commodities, create value, and do well on export markets represents a key challenge in boosting France’s agricultural production.
The 2030 Innovation Commission submitted a report to the President of France that identified plant proteins as one of seven “Innovation Goals”. The Commission expressed the wish that French industry “would mobilise and develop new, attractive food products based on plant proteins in order to change our eating habits and thus create a sustainable food solution, employment in France, and export capability”.
Tereos, a leading processor of wheat, starch potatoes, and alfalfa in France, has made multiple research advances in the optimisation of plant proteins. The Group was among the founders of “Improve”, the first European collaborative innovation platform fully dedicated to the optimisation of plant proteins, which is supported by France’s Investments for the Future Programme.
Tereos was also among the founders of “Protéines France” (French Proteins), a consortium of seven leading French processors of agricultural raw materials, and, in October 2016, it worked with the French State at the Global Food Marketplace (SIAL) to develop the French protein sector and make France a world leader in plant proteins.
by Giorgio Zani