Food manufacturers can put technology on trial

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Innovation

Leatherhead offers technology tests
Food manufacturers will be able to test the next generation of technology to drive forward new product development (NPD) and better product quality, following the establishment of Leatherhead Food Research's (LFR's) Emerging Technologies Working Group.

It comes in the wake of a LFR survey, in which 55% of companies ranked product innovation as the most important objective when considering investment in new technology, followed closely by product quality.

"This was quite a surprise,"​ said Dr Pretima Titoria, ingredients team leader at LFR. "Despite big moves in the food industry to concentrate on sustainability and energy efficiency, the main focus is clearly improving products and new products."

She said the working group would identify the emerging technologies most relevant to address new trends and demands and would establish a process to help realise their commercialisation.

Commercialisation

A number of feasibility studies will enable participants to evaluate the possibility of adapting the technology to the industry.

Titoria said LFR was now working with the firms behind technologies such as auto sampling, emulsion processes, novel optical fibre sensors, hygiene processes, industrial microwave processing and pathogen detection, with a view to holding industry trials.

With fewer than 10% of those surveyed ranking the exclusive use of equipment as important, LFR believes this collaborative approach could improve speed to market.

Related topics: NPD

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