April 23 2021  |  Food & Beverage

Cuisine Solutions San Antonio named Sustainable Plant of the Year

By Jane Hobson

Cuisine Solutions has been named Food Engineering Magazine's '2021 Sustainable Plant of the Year' for its sous vide processing facility in San Antonio, Texas. The award-winning facility built last year is the largest in the world with nearly US$200 million in investment and measuring 315,000 square feet.

The facility is recognized for its commitment to sustainability in design, construction, and operations by incorporating the best industry practices, including LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, solar installations, storm water management, a water recycling program, and the use of compressed earth block (CEB) allowing for future expansion without disrupting the surrounding environment.

"It is an honor to be named Food Engineering Magazine's Sustainable Plant of the Year," said Stanislas Vilgrain, Chairman, Cuisine Solutions. "Our team has created a facility that will be a true benchmark for manufacturing facilities worldwide. We feel sustainability should be placed at the forefront of all facilities development plans and are thrilled to lead the charge."

Thinking of the future
The facility features a 300-space parking lot, shaded by solar panels and available for purchase by San Antonio residents. Water management was also of the utmost importance to Cuisine Solutions when constructing the plant, so the team constructed parking area bioswales, which are designed to assist with storm water runoff and remove pollution. A water recycling program was put into place allowing for water used in the sous vide cooking process to be sanitized and used again for future production batches. The building was also able to reduce potable water consumption by 30 percent, surpassing minimum code requirements.

Thinking towards the future and the ultimate growth of the plant, Cuisine Solutions has designed a bridge to be built into the structure that would allow for an adjacent plant to be built. Therefore, upon the time of expansion, Cuisine Solutions will be able to construct a 100,000 square-foot facility with an entire additional product line without interfering with the current plant's operations.

"The infrastructure for this growth — including vacuum pumps, water coolers, piping and structural steel — are already in place, allowing for simpler facilitation and execution of utility connections to additional equipment in the future," said Cuisine Solutions Chief Operating Officer Jean Pierre Guillaud.

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