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Nestlé ups sustainability efforts at expanded UK innovation center

By Oliver Nieburg+

21-Nov-2012
Last updated on 21-Nov-2012 at 15:50 GMT

Nestlé has opened an extended product technology center for confectionery in the UK, which will better enable it to develop products and packaging with sustainable materials.

The center in York, UK, was opened today and is located on the same site as Nestlé’s chocolate factory that produces brands including Aero and Kit Kat.

Innovate with sustainable materials

Stefan Palzer, director of the new center, said: “The expansion will enable us to intensify product and packaging prototyping using sustainable and high quality raw materials, innovative manufacturing processes and reliable and efficient equipment.”

“It means we will be able to develop ideas more rapidly from the initial concept to the finished product you see for a sale on a shelf.”

Bigger pilot plant and sensory facility

Nestlé has enlarged the center’s pilot plant or mini-factory that tests new technologies before they are used on an industrial scale.

It has also extended its sensory testing facility, where tasters evaluate prototype products for taste and texture.

Nestlé’s employs a 185-man team of scientists, food chemists and other experts at the center to develop technologies for chocolate, chocolate ingredients and wafer and fruit based confectionery.

A Nestlé spokesperson told this site that the center could accommodate an additional 35 employees.

Grants and funding

The center also offers 13 industrial Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (CASE) training grants for UK students.

The York center recently received a £1m ($1.6m) in funding from the UK Technology Strategy Board for two projects to stimulate business-led innovation in the country.

Nestlé recently opened its first R&D center in India and it has plans to up the number of centers in China from two to four. An Institute of Health Sciences was also inaugurated in Switzerland earlier this month.

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