Q&A: Jean-François Maréchal of Poittemill on latest innovations in fine milling and fractionation

Poittemill is a world leader in the field of powder processing, fine-grinding solutions and preparation from laboratory to industrial scale. Its know-how allows the company to develop custom-made solutions to most effectively meet the needs of its customers.

Jean-François Maréchal, Poittemill’s managing director, will be presenting at Bridge2Food’s Plant-Based Foods & Proteins Summit Europe in the Netherlands 21-23 June on the latest disruptive innovations in dry fine milling and fractionation.

 Poittemill has been operating since 1933. How has the company adapted itself to a changing market, particularly in plant-based proteins?

Poittemill has adapted itself by developing various technologies in its core business to be able to be involved in all sectors of the industry from mineral industry to chemical, food, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and recycling industries, etc.

Poittemill’s adaptation to the market is driven by a continuous adaptation of its strategy by looking at the future trends of the market and its customers needs, and R&D and innovation are at the heart of this strategy. As our strategy is driven by environmental values such as more sustainability, Poittemill has been naturally interested in the plant-based industry and has pushed its R&D to work on plant-based protein challenges.

 What are the main challenges that plant-based ingredient manufacturers currently face and how could those be tackled with Poittemill’s help?

Ingredient manufacturers face several challenges which are mainly: more sustainability, better quality product, more flexibility, and better control of the OPEX to keep reasonable ingredients pricing for consumers and the natural ingredients consumers are seeking.

Poittemill is able to help as we have developed innovative and disruptive solutions which are more sustainable, more reliable, more efficient in terms of yield, and with a much lower OPEX.

For instance, we can decrease by 40 per cent the energy consumption for milling and dry fractionation.

Moreover, we have improved the percentage of protein concentrate while improving the mass fraction. Mass fraction and protein rates have to be seen together, and not one by one, to measure the real performance of a dry fractionation solution.  Among these benefits, we can also add qualitative advantages with a high control level of the preservation of the quality fractions (damage rate of starch and fibers from low to high) which have an impact on the downstream process or application.

 How does your milling and fractionation knowledge best benefit customers?

Firstly, we are able to bring a high value added to our customers owing to our nearly 90 years of experience in powder and flour processing solutions in various sectors of the industry and for thousands of different products. This allows us to continuously update and adapt our solutions to perfectly fit our customers’ requirements.

Then, as we want to be a reliable partner of our customers, we use our knowledge to help our customers to improve the initial project in a collaborative approach.

Finally, our latest patented solutions in milling and fractionation offer the best benefits on the market at this time.

 What do you see for the future of plant-based processing?

We could see continuous development in concentrate processing as it is a dry process which is more sustainable as it does not need water. Moreover, it is more natural processing, which is a concern for consumers.

We think that this activity will continue increasing because the demand for more sustainable and “green” food will continue to grow.

We also forecast specializations of plant-based processing. We believe that plant-based processing will be adapted and optimized for each product and its final use. Therefore, a wide portfolio of efficient solutions will be needed to perfectly reply to the ingredients manufacturers require.

More collaboration and new improvements will appear, for sure.

 What can you tell us about your presentation coming up at Summit Europe?

The theme of the presentation is for more sustainability in plant-based processing. We will explain that the choice of the milling and fractionation methods have an impact on energy consumption, yields, OPEX and on the quality of final products. Then we will focus on our latest innovation in fine milling and fractionation processing, which is a real disruptive new solution. We will demonstrate how much benefit we could get by sharing processing results (energy saving up to 40 per cent, higher product quality, highest protein rates and mass ratios, high capacity level, better reliability and performance, flexibility and more.)

This solution can be implemented for the dry fractionation and the flour milling, as well, before the wet processing. It can also be used for dehulling.

We will also open doors for future improvements for even more sustainability.

You can connect with Jean-François Maréchal and learn more about what Poittemill has to offer at Summit Europe in Ede, Netherlands 21-23 June.

Summit information here.

Summit program here.

Summit registration here.