Plant Protein Separation System

Improve protein isolate output and quality by cost-effectively separating suspended plant-based proteins with the Alfa Laval Plant Protein Separation System. Optimizing protein separation equipment with advanced technology reduces energy use and raises separation efficiency. Perfect for new installations or retrofits, this system makes it easy to install a new, energy-efficient plant protein separation system or retrofit an existing one while reducing the total cost of ownership.


Boost plant protein quality and yield while reducing operating costs

  • Increase protein isolate production capacity
  • Raise the quality of protein products
  • Reduce energy consumption using the energy-efficient Alfa Laval TopStream technology
  • Save floor space and electricity by rightsizing your separation system, whether a new installation or a retrofit

Rightsize your processing lines with the Alfa Laval Plant Protein Separation System to increase protein isolate quality and output.

The system separates suspended plant-based proteins using less space and less energy than conventional systems. For new installations, streamline your plant protein separation system using a separator with the patented TopStream technology for excellent solids-handling combined with an existing or new wash decanter. Easy to adjust and control, the TopStream gently handles challenging protein separation without foaming. Pairing the TopStream with your existing decanter or an Alfa Laval Foodec decanter increases the quality and yield of protein isolate.





Food system services

Alfa Laval Food system services help extend the performance of your food systems by maximizing the performance of your processes. This enables you to:

  • Continually improve your operations to maintain competitive advantage
  • Focus on uptime, optimization and availability
  • Maximize return on investment throughout the life cycle of your food systems

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Applications and industries


How does the Alfa Laval Plant Protein Separation System work?

The Alfa Laval Plant Protein Separation System comprises of an Alfa Laval separator with TopStream technology, a decanter, and other auxiliary equipment and components to optimize existing plant protein separation systems at plant protein processing facilities. 

For new installations

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Protein separation

Choose the Alfa Laval separator with TopStream™ technology to separate the protein suspension into a protein concentrate (heavy liquid) and process water (light liquid). The protein concentrate continuously leaves the TopStream through the heavy-liquid outlet at the top. Process water also leaves the TopStream through a light-liquid outlet at the top. The TopStream provides higher volumetric capacity and separation efficiency than a decanter centrifuge or other high speed separator for the same duty. 

The TopStream features a specially designed top disc for continuous discharge of the light and heavy liquids. The heavy-liquid outlet transfers the protein-laden liquid to a wash decanter to separate protein isolate from the process water. The heavy liquid never comes into contact with the frame casing, preventing contamination and deterioration of the solids. The light liquid flows over the top disc and leaves the separator through a second outlet. Intermittent solids discharge occurs at the bowl periphery, increasing process stability, product quality and yield; it also reduces process disruption, product losses, energy consumption and wear on the separator. 


Use an existing decanter or install a new Alfa Laval Foodec decanter as a wash decanter. After the TopStream separator, water is added to the protein concentrate before washing. Washing the protein concentrate ensures the high purity of the protein, but the decanter ensures the product with high dry matter content is transferred to the downstream dryer. As a result, the output of dry protein isolate increases. Process water containing any remaining suspended proteins is recirculated to the separator, recovering additional protein and thereby reducing protein loss.

Why choose the Alfa Laval Plant Protein Separation System? 

- New installations

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For retrofit installations

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Protein separation 

Choose an existing decanter or an Alfa Laval Foodec decanter to separate protein fines from a protein suspension. Separation takes place in the protein decanter, a horizontal cylindrical bowl equipped with a screw conveyor. A stationary inlet tube introduces protein suspension into the bowl, and a distributor gradually accelerates it. Centrifugal forces separate fine solids from the suspension. The solids are collected and compacted on the bowl wall. 

A conveyor rotates inside the bowl at a slightly different speed, transporting the settled solids on the bowl wall towards the conical end. The decanter design increases hydraulic pressure inside the drum to improve flow through a narrow opening. The compacted, dewatered solid protein, or protein paste, leaves the bowl via discharge openings at the smaller diameter of the conical end. Separation takes place along the entire length of the cylindrical part of the bowl, and the process water leaves through an optional paring disc (internal centripetal pump). 


Water is added to the protein paste after it leaves the protein decanter. A wash decanter then processes the protein suspension, separating the protein isolate for onward processing in a dryer. It then recirculates the process water to the TopStream to recover any remaining protein solids. 


The Alfa Laval TopSteam clarifies the process water from the protein decanter and wash decanter, recirculating protein lost by the decanters back to the protein decanter, where it is mixed with incoming protein suspension for separation. 

Alternatively, use the TopStream to allow each decanter to run at a higher capacity since the TopStream captures any suspended proteins that each decanter does not. 

Why choose to retrofit with the Plant Protein Separation System?

-Existing installationsWhy plant protein sep sys_Retrofit.png

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