Leading the whey with new innovation centre

Farmer-owned Arla Foods is to build a new whey centre in Nr. Vium, Denmark. Part of Arla Foods Ingredients, the new centre will be home to leading scientists and innovators who will discover and deliver new ways of using milk and whey to serve the needs of the world’s growing population.

The company opened the Arla Innovation Centre (AIC) in Skejby, Denmark last year. With the €36.3 million investment, Arla is now creating a hub for research and development innovation within whey and milk based ingredients.

Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2019, and the centre is expected to open in 2021. It will be a 9,000 square metre facility with open office spaces, labs and a pilot plant. The centre will employ up to 90 people.

Peder Tuborgh, CEO of Arla Foods, says, “The world’s population is growing, whh increases the need for healthy and sustainable food. It is a big challenge, and in Arla we want to be part of the solution.

“We know that dairy nutrition can play an important role in securing a healthy and balanced diet for people across the world, and with this innovation centre we will use cutting edge research and technology to explore milk and whey to their full potential as ingredients for a wide range of nutrition.”

The investment in the innovation centre was recently approved by Arla Foods’ Board of Directors, supporting the company’s strategic focus on innovation. The centre will be part of Arla Foods Ingredients (AFI), the Arla subsidiary that has transformed whey from what was once considered a waste product to premium, high quality ingredients used for infant nutrition, clinical nutrition, sports nutrition, health foods and other foods and beverage products.

Henrik Andersen, group vice president in Arla Foods Ingredients, says, “Our customers are always looking for new solutions to adapt to changing consumer demands. Our focus is to explore all the components in the milk and whey and combine them to enhance the nutritional or functional value of a product.

“Together with our customers, we will explore this even further in our new innovation centre to help them develop new products that meet the specific nutritional needs of children, athletes, patients and consumers.”

The new centre will be located in Nr. Vium, Denmark in close proximity to Arla Foods Ingredients’ largest production site, Danmark Protein. At the centre, scientists, technicians and innovators will cover all aspects of research and development within whey and milk – from advanced separation technologies to isolate specific components of the whey or milk, to heat treatment and pasteurisation technology to improve functionality and shelf-life.

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