Roquette has celebrated the opening of its new food innovation centre, located in its Lestrem site in the heart of Europe. As part of its strategy, Roquette’s food innovation centre will provide formulators with a large range of capabilities, including technical and R&D support, cutting-edge equipment, labs and scale-up testing. The ultimate goal is to foster innovation and accelerate the go-to-market of new products.
According to a survey conducted by Innova in 2023, the largest portion of consumers looks for health benefits when choosing new products. However, consumer food choices involve various other dynamics, such as value for money, taste and indulgence, and sustainability. With diets and food purchasing habits changing at a rapid pace, the food sector needs to adapt quickly and follow a continuous innovation strategy. Roquette supports this transition with its new food innovation centre, contributing to the growth of a new gastronomy highlighting new tastes, new textures, and whole new culinary experiences.
Where innovation comes to life
The food innovation centre has been designed to support food players by offering a huge range of capabilities, where Roquette’s professionals will provide advice and solutions to their process and formulation challenges. It includes a demonstration kitchen, a sensory analysis laboratory, various collaborative spaces and labs allowing pilot scale testing for different food applications. All food sectors including dairy, savoury, confectionery, bakery, beverage, or specialised nutrition, will benefit from these new capabilities.
“We see this opening as an innovation boost for the global food sector. Our group is proud to unveil this amazing new facility and help meet the demand in Europe and all around the world. This new food innovation centre will provide our customers with the plant-based ingredients and capabilities they need to overcome challenges in their product development process, enabling them to move forward more quickly and effectively,” said Pascal Leroy, senior vice-president of core ingredients.
The food innovation centre also offers new equipment, such as a high-moisture extrusion (HME), an ultra-high temperature (UHT) line with direct steam injection for dairy and beverage applications, as well as a tableting press simulator. Whether it is from a physical, chemical, rheological or nutritional perspective, the food innovation centre’s team can use this new facility, sensory analysis, and a wide range of analytical capacities to help food companies whatever the formulation challenge they face.
Isabelle Routier, head of food customer technical services (CTS), said: “The ultimate goal of the Food Innovation Center is to partner with food industry players to speed up innovation, from the earliest stage of product development. To ensure this is possible, the teams can rely upon a worldwide network, as well as in-house expertise, co-development sessions, and technical training. The site was also designed to facilitate knowledge and know-how development, capture and sharing.”
Roquette scientists and technical developers support food formulators in different ways: enhance the nutritional profile while preserving an appetising taste, increase the sensory experience of food products, test in lab and pilot conditions, or formulate cost-effective and sustainable new products.