IRELAND – Kerry Group, an international leader in taste & nutrition innovation has opened an innovation hub for food protection and preservation in the Netherlands to pioneer food preservation solutions.

According to the group, the new lab and offices will provide accelerated innovation and validation studies to customers in the region.

It will also operate in parallel with the company’s preservation facilities Netherlands, and its global technology innovation centers around the world.

“Our hub brings together the ability to isolate the strains that are limiting quality or shelf life and efficiently screen the efficacy of our broad and market-leading ingredients portfolio,” it explained.

Kerry said the facility will accelerate projects and innovations into applications and offer closer connections to customers by carrying out most of their requests.

“Innovation in both clean label and conventional preservation can take time due to the extensive validation of these food safety solutions in the application,” the company stated.

According to the company,s global vice president, Bert De Vegt, consumers understanding of the function of various ingredients on the label has often been limited.

“Familiar kitchen cupboard ingredients often have a proven and natural preservative effect, including salt, vinegar, lemon juice, pickling, fermentation, and sugar,” De Vegt underscored.

“Food businesses can use natural ingredients to extend shelf life, avoiding consumer-perceived additives.”

Meanwhile, the rising inflation and the cost-of-living crisis mean consumers want more value for their food purchases.

“We see a greater acceptance of conventional preservation ingredients on the label among the majority of consumers, as their needs evolve and a greater focus goes on affordability and convenient shelf life and storage possibilities,” De Vegt pointed out.

Recently Kerry Group expanded in Southern Europe by launching an innovation Center in Barcelona Spain.

According to Kerry, the innovation center was meant to allow the company to better connect with Southern European customers and further develop solutions for retail manufacturing, food service, and other food and beverage categories.

The facility combined Kerry’s Barcelona office with new application labs and a new customer suite.

It also operated alongside the company’s technology center in Vigo and Granada as well as its global taste centers of excellence in Grasse, France, and Mozzo, Italy.

According to the Group’s 2023 Q1 Interim Management report, Kerry reported progressive growth through footprint expansion and portfolio evolution with the sale of Sweet Ingredients Portfolio, further enhancing and developing the business in areas where we can add the most value.

The report highlighted that customer innovation was primarily focused on new taste profiles, enhancing their products’ nutritional characteristics and providing more value options for consumers.

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