The centre took just under a year to develop and opened in May 2012 and will enable customers to work jointly with Vitiva to develop applications for a range of industry sectors, including bakery, dairy, beverage and confectionery.
Dushka Dimitrijevic, vice president for Food Protection Systems at Vitiva, said that the centre represents a core part of the firm’s mantra and will ensure business growth.
“Vitiva is constantly cooperating with the customers, this is the focus of our business growth – the customer,” Dimitrijevic told FoodNavigator.
“The growth of Vitiva is closely related to constant innovation and to expand abilities to do more effective and better research, innovation was a logical step,” she said.
“Our products are application and process specific. We do not offer one product fits all. We serve the market by developing and offering solutions that the market is looking for and these solutions are very unique and highly competitive.”
“By offering the possibility to customers to develop applications with our ingredients, we assist them in shortening the time to market,” she added.
Natural colour demands
The firm reported increased demands for natural colours and Dimitrijevic said that “although Vitiva is a relative newcomer to the natural colours market, it has already developed and patented several natural colour solutions.”
The firm is focused on building the correct colour and maintaining stability; “the main problems in moving to natural colouring from synthetics,” she said.
The innovation centre includes natural formulation laboratories and sensory panel sessions to work with customers to integrate new natural colours into applications.
Demand for natural colour solutions is coming from the beverage, meat and savoury and confectionery sectors, Dimitrijevic said; areas where manufacturers are “eager to replace synthetic colours that are being banned or limited by new legislations.”
Along with application laboratories, the centre has analytical areas for ingredient evaluation and validation, offers consulting services in food legislation and natural colour and stevia use in applications.