Work starts on £6M potato protein extraction facility at Branston

Work has commenced on a new facility, which will be used to extract high grade plant protein from UK potatoes, at Branston’s site in Lincolnshire.

Branston is working alongside B-hive Innovations as part of a collaborative project to improve potato crop utilisation. The commercial factory is the first of its kind in the UK and will see the introduction of bespoke technologies and capabilities to meet the growing demand for UK grown plant-based ingredients.

The £6 million facility will convert low-value potatoes into clean-label functional protein, which can be used in vegetarian and vegan foods, and generate starch-based products for a range of manufacturing applications.

The project is being headed up by the newly appointed managing director of the Branston’s Prepared Foods division, Richard Fell, as a key part of his focus on transforming the Prepared business.

Richard said: “We’re delighted to be working with B-hive Innovations on this new venture. Most people are aware of potato starch and fibre in potatoes, but they don’t consider the highly nutritious protein fraction.

“B-hive Innovations has been honing this technology for a number of years, working with a group of academic and industry partners and supported by Innovate UK. They have developed a process to gently extract and isolate high-grade proteins from potatoes. This means we have the potential to meet the growing requirements from food manufacturers for 100% plant-based protein that is free from allergens and is fully traceable from our UK grown crops.”

Picture caption: (L-R) Vee Gururajan, director at B-hive, Tom Britton, engineering manager at Branston Prepared, Richard Fell, managing director at Branston Prepared, Alison Wright, project manager at B-Hive.

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