Roquette celebrated the grand opening of its new Food Innovation Center on 8 June 2023, which is located in its Lestrem site in the heart of Europe. As part of its strategy, the centre will provide formulators with a large range of capabilities including technical and R&D support, cutting-edge equipment, labs and scale-up testing. The ultimate goal is to foster innovation and accelerate the go-to-market of new products.
According to a survey conducted by Innova in 2023, the largest portion of consumers look for health benefits when choosing new products. However, consumer food choices involve various other dynamics, such as value for money, taste and indulgence, and sustainability. With diets and food purchasing habits changing at a rapid pace, the food sector needs to adapt quickly and follow a continuous innovation strategy. Roquette has said it is supporting this transition with its new Food Innovation Center, contributing to the growth of a new gastronomy highlighting new tastes, new textures, and whole new culinary experiences.
The Food Innovation Center has been designed to support food players by offering a huge range of capabilities, where Roquette experts will provide advice and solutions to their process and formulation challenges. It includes a demonstration kitchen, a sensory analysis laboratory, various collaborative spaces and labs allowing pilot scale testing for different food applications. All food sectors including dairy, savoury, confectionery, bakery, beverage, or specialised nutrition will benefit from these new capabilities – for bakery, Roquette will be exploring the use of plant ingredients for protein and fibre enrichment, new texture solutions and sugar reduction.
“We see this opening as an innovation boost for the global food sector. Our group is proud to unveil this amazing new facility and help meet the demand in Europe and all around the world,” commented Pascal Leroy, Senior Vice President of Core Ingredients, Roquette. “This new Food Innovation Center will provide our customers with the plant-based ingredients and capabilities they need to overcome challenges in their product development process, enabling them to move forward more quickly and effectively.”
The Food Innovation Center also offers new state-of-the-art equipment such as a high-moisture extrusion (HME), an ultra-high temperature (UHT) line with direct steam injection for dairy and beverage applications, as well as a tableting press simulator. Whether it is from a physical, chemical, rheological or nutritional perspective, the Food Innovation Center’s team can use this new facility, sensory analysis, and a wide range of analytical capacities to help food companies with whatever formulation challenge they are facing.
“The ultimate goal of the Food Innovation Center is to partner with food industry players to speed up innovation, from the earliest stage of product development,” added Isabelle Routier, Head of Food Customer Technical Services (CTS) at Roquette. “To ensure this is possible, the teams can rely upon a worldwide network, as well as in-house expertise, co-development sessions, and technical training. The site was also designed to facilitate knowledge and know-how development, capture and sharing.”
Roquette scientists and technical developers support food formulators in different ways; enhance the nutritional profile while preserving an appetising taste, increase the sensory experience of food products, test in lab and pilot conditions, or formulate cost-effective and sustainable new products.
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