Marel and Wenger present innovative technologies

Presenting scalable solutions to meet global food challenges

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Marel and Wenger, acquired by Marel in 2022, demonstrated their shared commitment to food security by participating in Plant-Based Day on 21 June in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Together, they showcased scalable and innovative solutions aimed at sustainably feeding a projected population of 10 billion by 2050. The event was organized by AGN Consultoria e Negocios, a consulting firm specializing in the plant-based food products market, with Marel and Wenger proudly serving as the principal sponsors.

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William Neiva, Sales Manager for Marel’s Plant, Pet and Feed segment, and Rafael Alvarenga, Sales Engineer from Wenger, presented the lecture “Technologies for plant-based meat processing: The future of food.” The presentation showcased Wenger’s innovative extrusion technologies, along with Marel’s advanced equipment for producing various plant-based products, such as burger patties, nuggets and meatballs.

Combining knowledge and technology to address global challenges

Alvarenga emphasized that the combination of Wenger and Marel’s knowledge and experience results in a robust portfolio that enhances all stages of food production. Both companies are focused on continuous development of technologies for higher quality and larger scale food processing, meeting the global need for promising future food solutions.

Alvarenga also pointed out that Wenger’s food extrusion technology is an efficient solution to meet the future food demands of the growing population. This is primarily due to the scalability of extrusion, which allows for the large-scale production of safe food while preserving the nutrients of the ingredients. Additionally, this method ensures an abundant supply of key materials for plant-based food production. Through extrusion, it’s possible to obtain proteins from various plant sources with moist or dry textures. These can be used both in meat-based foods as extenders and in 100% plant-based products with a meat-like appearance known as analogues.

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An important event for Marel

Highlighting the significance of this major Marel event focused on the plant-based sector, Neiva says, “In addition to the presentation, we got to know and interact with various players in the industry and clearly saw how our solutions can contribute to this important market at different scales. This ranges from startups with standalone, compact equipment that delivers high-quality products, to medium and large companies that outsource production for private label brands.” He further explains, “These companies require high flexibility and process reliability—qualities that we take pride in showcasing in our solutions and products.”

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Keeping an eye on a promising market

The technologies presented by Marel at Plant-Based Day strategically align with the growth of the plant-based food market. Currently, this market is valued at around EUR 10 billion globally and is projected to grow 15-20% annually.

The Good Food Institute (GFI), a non-profit organization that works to accelerate innovation in the plant-based protein sector, also participated in Plant-Based Day, sharing enlightening survey results on Brazil’s dietary trends. The survey revealed that 67% of respondents had already reduced meat consumption, a significant increase of 17% compared to 2020. Health was the main motivator for this change in habits among Brazilians, with approximately 36% stating that they had reduced consumption of animal-based products for this reason.

Marel’s commitment to developing new solutions in line with these trends complements its sustainability vision. By aligning innovation with the rising demand for plant-based food, the company underscores its position at the forefront of a more sustainable and secure food future.

About Wenger

Marel acquired Wenger in 2022, establishing Marel’s fourth business segment, Plant, Pet and Feed, alongside Poultry, Meat and Fish. Recognized for its high-quality extrusion systems, Wenger has made pioneering contributions in plant proteins, pet food and aquaculture feed. Together, these leading companies now offer the best technological and innovative solutions to meet the diverse demands of the industry.

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