Heinz invests in quality and innovation centre

Related tags Food

Global food giant Heinz is building an international research and
technical facility to establish better safety and quality assurance
procedures for its products.

To be known as The Heinz Food Innovation and Quality Centre, or Heinz Food IQ Centre, the facility, which will be operational in mid-2005, will be home to the food maker's research and development operations and its quality assurance laboratories.

Located just north of Pittsburgh on the Marconi Communications campus in Marshall Township, the Heinz Food IQ Centre will include the company's International Centre of Excellence for Ketchup, Condiments and Sauces. It also will focus on a broad range of products, including frozen foods and soups.

"The Heinz Food IQ Centre will bring to the Pittsburgh region a truly unique global resource,"​ said William R. Johnson, Heinz chairman. "This 100,000 square-foot facility will become our international centre for food and nutrition research, hosting some of the world's leading experts in nutrition, cuisine, quality assurance, and product and packaging design."

Many food companies are looking at ways to ensure food safety throughout the supply chain. Manufacturers in the EU are preparing for forthcoming legislation in January 2005, which will see food traceability through the supply chain becoming a legal responsibility.

Under the new laws, food producers must be able to identify products by batch, lot or consignment numbers and traceability of the product must be possible at all stages of production, processing and distribution. This means food businesses will have to be able to identify every supplier of food, feed, a food producing animal or any substance incorporated into their food/feed products.

In any case one thing is certain - such is the public concern surrounding food safety that it would be commercial suicide for any food manufacturer or retailer to ignore the issue.

At the new centre, more than 100 of Heinz's chefs, food technologists, researchers and package designers will work to develop new and innovative formulations for Heinz products. Additionally, they will provide assistance and advice to Heinz research and development teams located in major consumer markets around the globe.

The centre will also house quality assurance staff members, including microbiologists and food safety experts, all working with state-of-the-art equipment and systems. They will conduct sensory analysis and organoleptic reviews to evaluate the flavour, aroma and texture of Heinz products.

The centre will contain a new, advanced "pilot shop," which is a streamlined production facility used for testing small batches and developing new recipes, packages and processes.

Heinz's research and development centre has been located in the former Heinz complex on the city's North Side. Recently, Heinz signed a long-term lease for the space in the Marconi campus for its Heinz Food IQ Centre.

Heinz is one of the world's leading producers of branded foods in ketchup, condiments, sauces, meals, soups, seafood, snacks and infant foods.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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