Water solutions for alternative protein manufacturers

Safeguard your manufacturing, grow sustainably, evolve rapidly

Veolia Water Technologies’ local experts are knowledgeable and experienced in food, biotechnology and regulatory environments. We offer you guidance, from the initial concept through to plant operation. We also have our own laboratories, offer feasibility studies and piloting, and we are a leader in evolving plants through data-driven insights.

Delivering sustainable proteins

Alternative proteins align with the public’s desire for foods that are better for the planet. The sector has attracted significant investment and is growing rapidly. Novel fermentation and cell-culture are driving innovation in this sector. We are here to help you deliver on production, sustainability and speed-to-market.

Protein-rich ingredients can be sourced from plants, insects, fungi or through biotechnology to replace conventional animal-based sources. Advances in fermentation and cell-culture  are pushing the industry forward. 

Traditional fermentation uses microorganisms to process plant ingredients to produce products with unique flavor and nutritional profiles or textures. 

Biomass fermentation leverages the fast growth and high protein content of microorganisms. The microbial biomass itself is the final product

Precision fermentation uses microbial hosts as “cell factories” to produce functional ingredients to improve the sensory and functional characteristics of plant-based products.

Cell-based meats*: stem cells from an animal are grown in bioreactors. Building on decades of accumulated knowledge from the biotechnology industries.

*A similar process can be used to produce milk, gelatin, egg and other components or end products.

Deliver on production and on speedmarket

Production processes require large amounts of purified water and are highly sensitive to microbial contamination, which can impact the quality and quantity of the final product

Purified water is used to prepare the media feedstock, as make-up water for the bioreactors, as cooling water (sprayed within the bioreactors), for cleaning and rinsing of the bioreactors, and for purification of the final product.

There is pressure for manufacturers to scale quickly, but legislative and technical constraints require manufacturing pilots. These must be online quickly, and once objectives are met, rapidly scaled. 

Veolia’s Ionsoft softeners and Sirion™ reverse osmosis technologies produce high-purity water for a biomass fermentation facility in the USA. The plant produces up to 13,000 tonnes of mycelium protein per year.

Since its conception 20 years ago, over 400 Orions have been sold worldwide. Orions biotechnology credentials make it the ideal technology for cell-based meat manufacturers.


Orion is a skid-mounted, hot water sanitizable, purified water production system. It can produce up to 20 cubic meters per hour (m3/hr) of endotoxin free water for critical utilities. It is fully compliant with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations and the Good Automated Manufacturing Practice (GAMP). Built with sustainability in mind, it can significantly reduce overall water and energy consumption. 


Sensa is a skid-mounted, chemically-sanitizable, double-pass reverse osmosis (RO) system that can produce up to 10 m3/hr of endotoxin free water. A built in recovery RO unit minimizes costly water losses and contributes to achieving sustainability objectives.

Nurion™ and Sirion™

Nurion and Sirion are reverse osmosis systems that can be configured with potable water grade materials for food processing facilities. Nurion has a hygienic-design permeate. Both systems reduce the risk of microbial contamination for less sensitive manufacturing processes.


Aquaservice ensures that compliance is maintained, risks are controlled, production demands are met, and processes are continually optimized. Hubgrade digital solutions allow Veolia’s experts to provide data-driven operational assistance.

Clients that already work with Veolia

Sustainable production of canola (rapeseed) proteins

With our water treatment solutions, Olatein, a joint venture of Royal DSM and Avril, succeeded in treating high loaded wastewater with stringent discharge limits into the sea. Biothane’s — a subsidiary of Veolia Water Technologies — created a design to secure optimal performance in biogas and water quality production. Thanks to our solutions the plant succeeded in  reducing its environmental impact (odors, noise, footprint, etc) and improving resource recovery.

Deliver on sustainability

Production processes require significant energy and water resources. Renewable energy, water reuse and resource recovery are essential for the industry to deliver on the sustainability promises of alternative protein products. 

Wastewaters can be challenging with high organic loads and variabilities in flow and composition due to batch production techniques.

Veolia designed and built a wastewater treatment plant for an alternative proteins manufacturer in France. It employs Biothane technologies to convert 1500 m3/day of wastewater into biomethane for the grid. This equates to around 11 gigawatt hours of electricity per year.

From yeast and enzyme manufacturers, via wine and beer producers, to manufacturers of functional ingredients; Biothane has treated wastewater from fermentation industries for over 40 years and has hundreds of references.

Renewable energy

BiothaneⓇ — a subsidiary of Veolia Water Technologies — anaerobic systems allow for the generation of biogas from wastewaters, which may be used as an alternative source of energy for the production facility or upgraded to biomethane for injection into the grid; resulting in lower energy costs, lower carbon footprint,  greater self-sufficiency and compliant discharge.


Our experts draw upon a portfolio of in-house technologies to design the most appropriate solutions for your requirements, including Idraflot™ DAF (dissolved air flotation) for FOG (fat, oil and grease), Biothane for high organic loads, AnoxKaldnes™ MBBR (Moving bed biofilm reactor) for challenging pollutants, membrane bioreactor (MBR) for direct discharge or reuse, Hydrotech™ Discfilter for polishing, and Evaled™ evaporators for volume reduction or recovery. 

Reuse and resource recovery

Veolia’s experience in regulated industries with recovering resources from waste streams and upgrading wastewaters for reuse makes it a natural choice of partner for long-term sustainable development. Key technologies include MBR, ultrafiltration, CaptuRO™, and Evaled™ evaporators.

Standardized or packaged plants

Our technologies are available as standardized or packaged plants. These proven designs are quick to manufacture, to ensure quality control, install and commission. Their interoperability allows for rapid expansion and adaptation as manufacturing grows and evolves.

Systems are available as capital purchase, rental or water-as-a-service. The latter are highly attractive as they free-up capital and provide flexibility.

 Alternative protein manufacturers need to move quickly, take zero risks, respect the environment and be cost competitive. Delivering on all of these is very difficult and requires a network of partners, each specializing in their own domain. Veolia Water Technologies is the industry's partner for water treatment, wastewater compliance and alternative energy through biogas.


Shaun Summers

Industrial Marketing Manager - Food and Beverage
Veolia Water Technologies

Contact Shaun Summers on his LinkedIn Profile

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FAQ about alternative proteins

What is alternative protein?

Alternative proteins may be sourced from plants, insects, fungi, or through cell-culture  to replace conventional animal-based sources.

What are the process water treatments required for alternative protein manufacturers?

Purified water is used to prepare the media to be used as feedstock, as make-up water for the bioreactors, as cooling water, for cleaning and rinsing the bioreactors, and for purification of the final product. Microbial contamination of this water at any stage can have serious implications.

What are the wastewater requirements for alternative protein manufacturers?

Wastewater from alternative protein production typically has high chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). Anaerobic treatment systems are well adapted for such wastewaters. They can be used to both treat the wastewater and generate valuable biogas, which can then be used as an alternative source of energy for the production facility. This results in lower energy costs, a smaller carbon footprint and greater self-sufficiency.