PLYMOUTH, MINN. — Bühler has completed construction on its Food Application Center (FAC) in Plymouth.

The next phase of the project will include installation of equipment and commissioning. The pilot plant facility is expected to be fully operational by July and ready for the first trials with customers.

The center will include innovative technologies for processing corn, pulses, ancient grains and many other food ingredients. It includes an advanced grain and raw ingredient cleaning section, de-hulling lines, the Prime Masa process (for Nixtamal flour), a complete grinding and milling system, as well as flaking and extrusion lines.

 “The Bühler FAC will be a playground for customers,” said Daniel Garcia, process engineer at Bühler. “You can come with a concept of a new product, and we will have the capabilities to test and combine different processes at an industrial scale, developing normal or special flours, flakes or extruded goods ready to cook or ready to eat.”

Processing of pulses is a new technology area, and the FAC will boost its development, said Aidin Milani, sales manager for Pulses Processing.

“North America is a major producer of pulses, and food producers in the region are becoming more and more interested in developing and using highly functional and nutritional pulse-based ingredients,” Mr. Milani said.

The center also will help develop innovative milling processes, said Tino Boehm, sales manager for Specialty Milling.

“For example, we will be equipped to produce Nixtamal flour, a special corn flour applied on the traditional Mexican tortillas, and Nixtamal-based products,” Mr. Boehm said.

“We are looking forward to have the FAC ready for trials and demos,” Mr. Milani said. “It will also be important for trainings and to test new equipment.”