Chr.Hansen opens revamped French natural colouring R&D site

Natural colours specialist Chr. Hansen has inaugurated its advanced, revamped research and development facilities in Montpellier, France as part of wider investment in innovative solutions for sectors including confectionery, reports Neill Barston

As the company revealed to Confectionery Production, the site’s capabilities will allow it to ramp up pigment, formulation and application capabilities as it continues to expand its ranges of industry products.

The business added that its expanded facilities will significantly enhance its abilities in the sector, with the firm expected to be acquired, subject to regulatory clearance, next year by EQT, a global investment organisation.

“We are ramping up our R&D capabilities in pigment, formulation and application expertise. Also, we are accelerating our breeding programs and new technologies to secure sustainable and high-quality natural sources,” states Luc Ganivet, vice president, head of innovation and application.

“More stable formulations and even new colours like blue and green will now be within our reach. This new centre will be a magnet to the brightest talents in the industry and will help us to remain a leading force. Montpellier lies in the heart of an exciting food science hub, with several universities and institutions renowned for their profound scientific expertise.

Chr. Hansen Natural Colours will be even better equipped to use its technical expertise and drive for innovation to meet the challenges of conversion and cost optimisation for manufacturers, with plans for several new and unique products.

In its recent history over the past five years, there have been a number of new breakthroughs,  as well as a steady stream of customisation projects, including the  minimally processed red Hansen sweet potato that won the European FI Innovation Award for Natural & Clean Label and the American IFT Innovation Award last year, will continue to evolve from the expertise centre in Montpellier.

“With the R&D centre we are cementing our leading position and will be even better equipped to develop differentiated technical solutions that meet the challenges of our customers,” states Klaus Bjerrum, executive vice president. “A key objective for us is to secure knowledge sharing and alignment across our global organization so that we can offer customers the same high level of expertise wherever they are located.”

The skills and competencies gathered at the new centre will allow Chr. Hansen Natural Colours to balance short and long term innovation needs as the company anchors numerous teams in Montpellier with expertise in raw materials, extraction and pigments, breeding, formulation and biotechnologies.

“We are proud to be the partner of choice for so many food and beverage manufacturers. We highly value their trust and we will continue to earn the right to be their chosen partner. When travel policies allow again, we are excited to welcome customers and academic partners and jointly accelerate colourful, natural innovations for modern health conscious consumers,” Bjerrum concludes.  For a further view of the facilities, visit the company’s site here.

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