Beneo sets out R&D priorities with €4.6m lab investment

By Niamh Michail contact

- Last updated on GMT

Meat applications and sugar reduction will be key areas of focus for Beneo's R&D team in the future. Photo: iStock.com
Meat applications and sugar reduction will be key areas of focus for Beneo's R&D team in the future. Photo: iStock.com

Related tags: Nutrition, Veganism

German ingredients supplier Beneo and Belgian sugar producer Raffinerie Tirlemontoise have invested nearly €5m in research and development (R&D) at its Belgian laboratory facility.

The €4.6 million investment was used entirely to modernise all of parent company Südzucker’s lab-facilities, for areas such as microbiology, analytics and process technology.

The laboratory facilities will now be used to advance Beneo's research in the areas of dairy, bakery, beverages, cereals, soups and sauces. It will also now look at meat thanks to a new meat laboratory for specific meat, vegetarian and vegan applications.

This meat-specific laboratory will ensure all products and ingredients are kept at an optimum temperature – either cold or lower than room temperature – throughout the testing process.

Vice president of Beneo Technology Centre Rudy Wouters told FoodNavigator meat applications and sugar reduction would be key areas of focus for Beneo's R&D team in the future. 

“With the growth in ‘flexitarian’ eating, which involves following a mainly plant-based diet (with occasional meat), plant proteins are well placed to make the most of the growing consumer demand for meat-free alternatives. 

"In addition, with the growing prevalence of obesity and its issues concerning long-term health, sugar reduction will continue to be an important R&D focus.“

According to market research company Innova Market Insights, which chose flexitarianism as one of its key trends in 2016, there was a 24% global annual growth in meat substitute products from 2011 to 2015.  

Located in Tienen, Belgium, the new facility is open for business after several months of work and is currently operating at full capacity.

The multi-million euro investment has also been used to expand the offices and modernise technical facilitates at the Tienen site. 

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