June 8, 2023

Extruder worth nearly $1 million donated to Purdue University

A pair of global industrial leaders have donated a key piece of food processing equipment worth nearly $1 million to Purdue University.

Hillenbrand, an equipment provider to plastics, food and recycling brands, and Coperion, which develops, produces and services specialized equipment for the food and health industries, donated an extruder to Purdue’s Food Science Pilot Lab earlier this month. The Coperion ZSK 27 My PLUS Extruder, valued at more than $900,000, will expand alternative protein testing opportunities and provide students with hands-on experience, according to a news release.

Purdue University

“This donation from Hillenbrand will help our food science department serve the land grant mission and the people of Indiana,” Karen Plaut, Purdue executive vice president for research, said in the release. “Both students and researchers can gain from this state-of-the-art technology, which is crucial to new innovation and to prepare our students for competitive job opportunities in food science.”

An extruder is a short bioreactor that enables continuous transformation of raw ingredients. Coperion’s ZSK 27 Mv PLUS Extruder is used to make products such as snacks and ready-to-eat cereals. Its high-quality output and flexibility make it well-suited to produce alternative proteins, according to the release.

In the past year, Hillenbrand has increased its global reach with the acquisitions of Linxis, Peerless and Gabler and recently announced an agreement to acquire Schenck Process Food and Performance Materials business.

“Purdue is known for its leading Food Science program, and when looking for a school with strong talent to share our highly engineered equipment with, Purdue was a natural fit,” Kim Ryan, Hillenbrand president and CEO, said. “We are incredibly pleased to have found this partner in our home state of Indiana and look forward to embarking on this partnership with Purdue University and its Food Science Department.”

Purdue food science faculty conduct research in disciplines including food chemistry, food structure and function, foods for health, food safety and microbiology, food processing and technology development. The pilot plant, part of Purdue’s Food Entrepreneurship and Manufacturing Institute, aims to advance food manufacturing technologies through scalable trials and hands-on training. The plant.

Coperion’s North American customers will have access to Purdue’s food-grade pilot lab, along with Purdue food scientists to help with developing and testing alternative protein products before they go to market.

“As alternative protein products have grown in popularity among consumers, we realized our customers have few options to test their products in food-grade facilities,” Ulrich Bartel, president of Coperion, said. “This partnership fills a void in our industry by providing customers with access to essential equipment but also talented students dedicated to alternative proteins who can aid customers in exploring new food products to meet consumer demand.”

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