Nestlé steps up its research and development in Switzerland

Posted: 31 August 2012 | Nestlé | No comments yet

Nestlé is boosting its research and development in Switzerland by extending its PTC in Konolfingen…

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Nestlé is boosting its research and development in Switzerland by extending its Product Technology Centre (PTC) in Konolfingen.

The extension will help to enhance Nestlé’s innovative technologies for new product development and apply these to the company’s operations worldwide.

PTC Konolfingen focuses on the development of infant formula, dairy products and medical nutrition.

Commitment to Switzerland

Nestlé’s latest investment is part of its commitment to increase its R&D capabilities.

The company opened a Clinical Development Unit earlier this year and is set to open the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, both based in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

In total over half of Nestlé’s global investment in R&D is spent in Switzerland.

‘Game-changing decision’

“We are committed to research and development in Switzerland,” said Werner Bauer, Chief Technology Officer for Nestlé.

“We have had an R&D capability at Konolfingen for over 40 years since our company first acquired the milk sterilising site to develop milk products and processes.

“In 1998 we introduced the concept of Product Technology Centres. This was a game-changing decision that concentrated product development to just a few sites globally. PTC Konolfingen quickly became a flagship for our new R&D structure.

“We are now celebrating a further extension to our capabilities on the site,” he added.

Latest additions

The new extension will feature a new spray drying tower, installations for ‘wet mix’ processing and special production lines to package Nestlé powdered products.

It will also be equipped with a process control system to meet a variety of food and safety standards.

The new extension follows a CHF 200 million investment in 2011 to open a production unit at the Konolfingen site.

In total the company has invested about CHF 465 million in the site since 2006.

Research expertise

The new extension aims to build on PTC Konolfingen’s history of innovation and research expertise.

The PTC developed hypoallergenic (HA) infant formula in the 1980s to meet growing consumer demand for a product less likely to cause allergies than regular formula.

It also produced a probiotic especially for all infant formulas including HA and created and patented a spray drying process.

Developing technologies

The company’s research and development includes fundamental research at the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, with units in St Louis in the United States, Beijing in China and Tokyo in Japan.

This research is shared with Nestlé’s global R&D network, including its Nestlé Product Technology Centres which have two roles.

The first is to develop innovative technologies and manufacturing processes which are the basis of new product development. New textures and flavours are created as well as improved nutritional profiles.

The second is to implement these technologies to the company’s operations.

They can be used in Nestlé’s factories around the world to ensure its products are being produced in the safest and most effective way, while meeting the constantly changing needs of consumers.

Nestlé has 32 R&D centres, including 12 Product Technology Centres worldwide.

They include the PTC for coffee technology in Orbe, Switzerland, which recently marked its 50th anniversary, and PTC Singen in Germany, which focuses on Maggi.

In 2011 the company announced that it will extend its PTC for confectionery in York in the United Kingdom later this year to develop and test technologies, manufacturing processes and equipment.

Nestlé ‘application groups’ work with PTC experts to install new process lines and factory extensions.

The groups are based in Nestlé factories globally and adapt products to meet local consumer tastes and preferences.

Innovation in Switzerland

The company has eight research and development facilities in Switzerland.

As well as its PTCs in Konolfingen and Orbe, these include the Nestlé Research Center and Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, both based in Lausanne.

Other facilities include the Cereal Partners Worldwide Innovation Centre and the System Technology Centre, both in Orbe. Nestlé’s Chocolate Centre of Excellence is based in Broc.

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