They are leading a series of Innovate UK projects in areas of science, engineering and technology, they claimed.
Working with Sheffield Hallam’s Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering and Spirax Sarco, Nestlé UK will help develop a project to improve waste heat recovery processes.
The project will focus on the carbon footprint of the 40-metre long ovens used by Nestlé UK to manufacture its KitKat chocolate bars and will explore ways to improve the existing process.
Baking technologies in food and drink manufacturing processes typically use gas-fired heaters, which produce large volumes of waste heat at 300 to 400 degrees Celsius.
Nestlé UK and Ireland’s resource efficiency lead Richard McNeill said: “In meeting the greatest challenges facing our business today and in the future, the need to collaborate is clear. Through our projects with Innovate UK we are driving innovation, gaining new insight into our operations and adding value to our business partners, academia and society.”
Dr Martin Howarth
“... have the potential to achieve savings, lower the carbon footprint and allow our students to tackle real scenarios."
Researchers will work with Nestlé UK to develop an innovative heat recovery solution to drive energy efficiency and cut the cost of energy, Sheffield Hallam said.
Savings and lower carbon footprint
Sheffield Hallam University’s director of the National Centre for Excellence in Food Engineering Dr Martin Howarth said: "We are delighted to receive these commissions from Nestlé which have the potential to achieve savings, lower the carbon footprint and allow our students to tackle real scenarios."
In a second project, engineers will work with Nestlé UK, Sheffield Hallam, First Milk and Foss to reduce raw milk supply chain wastage by three per cent across the UK supply chain.
The team will aim to develop an inline spectroscopic technology to improve process control and help to align the entire supply chain with the needs of the process, Sheffield Hallam claimed.
The technology could deliver an estimate energy saving of 190,000GJ annually across the Nestlé UK and Ireland group, and reduce process waste at its Dalston plant, it added.