The purpose-built 3,500 square meter facility in Gorinchem will offer “an unprecedented range of production and analytical equipment”, said Corbion, adding it will boost efficiency and its responsiveness to customers. More than 150 technical specialists will work at the site.
Dedicated laboratories will work on meat, confectionery and other food and beverage applications, with the site offering microbiology instrumentation, taste testing and sensory facilities in addition to a kitchen designed to mimic product preparation at home.
Although the lab officially opened this week, Corbion has already developed food ingredients at the site including: Ultra Fresh Premium Advantage, an enzyme blend to maximize freshness and shelf life in bakery products; and Purac Power MA, a malic acid powder for acid-sanded confectionery.
Tasting and microbiology capabilities
“This new R&D applications laboratory is a prime example of Corbion’s ongoing commitment to, and investment in, the development of world-leading solutions and services,” said Corbion vice president of marketing Boudewijn van Nuland.
“The laboratory’s state-of-the-art equipment and extensive tasting and microbiology capabilities position us to deliver an even higher level of customer-driven innovation and value over the coming years.”
In addition to food ingredients, the facility will also develop biochemical solutions to improve the sustainability and performance of industrial products such as coatings and adhesives, chemicals, home and personal care, pharmaceuticals and animal nutrition.
Food business growth
Earlier this month, Corbion’s full-year results showed 3.7% organic growth in its food business, driven by increasing volumes and a positive price/mix effect.
Corbion said bakery sales – which represented 52% of full-year food division sales - increased as a “small recovery in volumes” was supported by price increases following hikes in the cost of raw materials such as egg powder and folic acid.
Sales were down in Corbion’s beverages, confectionery and dairy businesses – which between them account for a quarter of food division sales - as a result of difficult market conditions and the impact of an accident at its production facility in Grandview, Missouri.