Developing new confectionery products

4 October 2011 – Nestlé is strengthening its leadership in research and development by enlarging its global Product Technology Centre for confectionery, based in the UK.

“Confectionery is an exciting business which moves at a rapid pace,” says Stefan Palzer, the centre’s director.

“This expansion will allow us to accelerate and intensify confectionery product development, using sustainable and high quality raw materials, innovative manufacturing processes and reliable and efficient equipment.”

At the centre, ideas for new products are developed and tested right through from processing raw ingredients such as cocoa, to manufacturing, to packaging.

Teams of technologists, scientists, engineers, food chemists, confectioners, nutritionists and packaging specialists work to develop new chocolate products, as well as fruit and wafer based confectionery products.

At the heart of the centre is a miniature factory, a ‘pilot plant’, which will be extended as part of the investment programme.

This is where Nestlé confectionery specialists and engineers develop and test technologies, manufacturing processes and equipment before they are used in the company’s factories worldwide.

There is also a cutting edge sensory testing facility for the tasting of prototypes and finished products, which will also be extended.

In this area, panels of experienced confectionery tasters evaluate products on a variety of sensory factors, such as smell, or bitterness or sweetness, and taste preference.

The centre’s extension has been designed to minimise waste of materials such as water, carbon dioxide, and energy while maximising output. This will be done according to the principles of ‘lean construction’, a global standard for designing and constructing more efficient and environmentally sustainable production systems.

Nestlé’s York factory produces popular confectionery brands including Kit Kat, Aero, and Milky Bar.

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