“An experimental powerhouse”: Arla Foods Ingredients opens new Innovation Centre
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- 08 October 2021
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The new Innovation Centre aims to step change cutting edge technology and development of new solutions within a wide range of specialized dairy and whey ingredients to meet the fast growing global demand for nutritious and sustainable food. The Innovation Centre will be the new home for AFI’s own leading international scientists and innovators and will bridge the gap for world class research, clinical trials and collaboration across the globe.
Arla Foods Ingredients (AFI), a subsidiary of the European dairy cooperative Arla Foods, is a global leader within specialized high quality milk and whey ingredients used to meet specific needs of children, athletes, patients and consumers. Globally, the specialized ingredients market is a 10 billion EUR business, and it is expected to grow at a high pace within the coming years. With the new innovation centre, AFI is able to further tap into this growth by intensifying its innovation efforts and taking its business to the next level both within its core markets in Europe, China and the Americas - and beyond.
Based in Nr Vium in Denmark and with a total size of 9,000m2, the new Innovation Centre will be home to up to 100 scientists and technicians, who will have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including laboratories for clinical trials and a pilot plant and office spaces. Here, they will cover all aspects of research and development within whey and milk – from advanced separation technology to improved functionality and shelf-life.
Niels Østergaard, VP Research & Development at Arla Foods Ingredients, says: “I am very proud and have been looking forward to this day when we open our new Arla Foods Ingredients Innovation Centre. It will deliver a huge boost to our research and development capabilities, and we’re incredibly excited about the possibilities it offers. Working with our scientific and industry partners, we’ll be able to undertake more research, embark on ambitious new projects, and innovate to tackle some of the world’s most urgent food and nutrition challenges.”
At the heart of the Supply Chain
The Innovation Centre is located right next to Danmark Protein – AFI’s flagship production plant that produces whey protein concentrate and lactose products, including for infant nutrition. This location is key for success as it closes the gap between innovation and full scale production. Niels Østergaard says: “It was vital for us for the Innovation Centre to be at the heart of our supply chain. This is the closest to the highest quality raw materials that it could possibly be, enabling us to fine-tune ideas and scale them up in one quick and streamlined process. This is truly living up to our purpose of delivering the wonders of whey.”
The Centre is also designed to create synergies between leading university researchers, PhD students and industry professionals. Partners will include academic institutions in Denmark (like the Copenhagen and Aarhus universities) and overseas (including UC Davis), as well as technology suppliers and Arla Foods Ingredients’ customers in the food and nutrition industries.
Whey more powerful innovations
AFI already has its first new innovation ready based on the Open Innovation concept that will be at the heart of the new Innovation Centre. Today, AFI also launches a new protein category called Lacprodan® BLG-100. Produced using a patented new separation technology, the Lacprodan® BLG-100 can be used to minimize the loss of muscle mass and help sustain physical mobility with patients and elderly.
Arla continues to invests in innovation
The new Innovation Centre is next step for Arla’s innovation ambitions. In 2017, Arla opened its first innovation centre in the heart of one of the world’s fastest growing food clusters in Aarhus, Denmark. The Arla Innovation Centre (AIC) is in the forefront of retail and foodservice product development, emerging production technologies and bridging the gap between scientists, customers and consumers while the new innovation centre focuses on specialized products and ingredients within dairy and whey.
Arla Foods is an international dairy company owned by more than 8,900 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Arla Foods is one of the leading players in the international dairy arena with well-known brands like Arla®, Lurpak®, Puck® and Castello®. Arla Foods is focused on providing good dairy nourishment from sustainable farming and operations and is also the world's largest manufacturer of organic dairy products.