INNOVATIVE IDEAS: Expert teams work on confectionery development for the UK and worldwide.
Nestlé continues to strengthen its global research and development network with the inauguration of its newly extended Product Technology Centre (PTC) for confectionery in the United Kingdom.
The company’s investment in its PTC in the city of York will enable it to accelerate confectionery product development for the UK and the rest of its worldwide business.
At the PTC, teams of technologists, scientists, engineers, food chemists, confectioners, nutritionists and other experts work on developing innovative ideas for confectionery, from new manufacturing, raw material processing and packaging methods, to the reformulation of existing products.
Nestlé has expanded the miniature factory, or pilot plant, at the heart of the PTC, where new technologies are developed and tested before being used in its factories around the world.
“All Nestlé PTCs around the world provide a ‘critical mass’ of expertise in particular product categories.” Stefan Palzer, Director of PTC York.
The company has also enlarged the PTC’s sensory testing facility, where panels of experienced confectionery tasters evaluate prototypes and finished products on a variety of factors including smell, bitterness or sweetness, and taste preference.
The investment is one of a number Nestlé has made in its global research and development capabilities recently.
Earlier this month the company opened its first R&D centre in India and the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences in Switzerland, while in October it announced it would increase the number of R&D units it has in China from two to four.
“All Nestlé PTCs around the world provide a ‘critical mass’ of expertise in particular product categories,” said Stefan Palzer, Director of PTC York, at the opening ceremony.
“Here in York, our specialist teams develop breakthrough technologies for chocolate, wafer and fruit-based confectionery, and chocolate ingredients and coatings for ice cream products.
“The expansion will enable us to intensify product and packaging prototyping using sustainable and high quality raw materials, innovative manufacturing processes and reliable and efficient equipment.
“It means we will be able to develop ideas more rapidly from the initial concept to the finished product you see for a sale on a shelf.”
Mr Palzer was joined at the event by David Heath MP
, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food; Fiona Kendrick, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé UK
and Ireland, and Ciaran Sullivan, Managing Director of Nestlé Confectionery in the UK
Nestlé’s PTC in York employs about 185 people of more than 30 nationalities, including a number of placement students and apprentices.
Their work is essential for the continuous improvement of the quality, texture, nutritional profile, sustainability and affordability of Nestlé confectionery products.
Many employees who are recruited and trained in York will be assigned to other Nestlé operations or research and development centres in the future.
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