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Unilever Research and Development



The total product experience and the position of the sensory and consumer sciences: More than meets the tongue

6 March 2012 | By Garmt Dijksterhuis, Sensation, Perception & Behaviour, Unilever R&D Vlaardingen

Traditionally, much food research focuses on the physical and chemical product characteristics, using the so called ‘hard-sciences’. The consumer science side of the product, its use, its perception and its choice rely on the psychological sciences. In the ‘harder’ sciences, a number of recent insights appear which we introduce in…


Using LC-MS to study the fate of food ingredients in the human body

12 May 2010 | By Christian H. Grün & Hans-Gerd Janssen, Unilever Research and Development, Advanced Measurement & Data Modelling

The human body is designed for effectively extracting nutrients from the food we eat. The nutrients provide the body with energy, but in addition, they also provide the building blocks for cell growth. More recently, it has also been realised that specific food ingredients can be associated with a direct…


Salt reduction and the consumer perspective

12 May 2010 | By Johanneke Busch, Gerda Feunekes, Beatrijs Hauer and Wilma den Hoed, Unilever R&D Vlaardingen

In recent years, scientific studies have shown that salt intake can cause high blood pressure and associated heart diseases. Conversely, there is clear evidence that significant reductions of salt intake lead to large reductions in blood pressure, heart diseases and strokes1. Other important risk factors for these cardiovascular diseases are…


Refrigeration and Unilever

22 February 2010 | By Rene van Gerwen, Global Lead Engineer Refrigeration & HVAC, Engineering Excellence Team (EET), Unilever Global Supply Chain and Jan Krieg, Expertise Team Leader Systems & Process Engineering, Unilever R&D

Unilever is one of the world's largest FMCG companies, branding, selling and producing food, personal care, cleaning and washing products. The company has a global turnover of more than 40 billion Euros per year (divided equally between the three major regions: Western Europe, the Americas and Africa/Asia/Central-Eastern Europe). Unilever sells…


Detecting bacterial spores in soup manufacturing

10 September 2009 | By A.C.M van Zuijlen & S.J.C.M Oomes, Unilever R&D; P. Vos, Check-Points B.V. and S. Brul, University of Amsterdam

Spores from mesophilic aerobic sporeforming bacteria (Bacillus) are sometimes able to survive the thermal process of commercial sterile products and sporadically cause spoilage or food poisoning. Because of an increasing demand for more fresh products, ideally the processing temperatures should be tailored to inactivate the actual spore load rather than…


Magnetic Resonance Imaging for cereal products

3 May 2005 | By John van Duynhoven and Gerard van Dalen, Foods Research Centre, Unilever R&D, Vlaardingen (NL), Ales Mohoric and Henk van As, Wageningen University and Research Center (NL), Pedro Ramos Cabrer, Utrecht University (NL) and Klaas Nicolay, Utrecht University (NL) and current affiliation Eindhoven University of Technology

How does the microstructure of a food product behave during processing? And what events take place during the shelf life of food products? New developments in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) enable cereal food technologists to address such questions within the context of product innovation. In the food industry, pressure to…


The evolution of ice cream technology

3 May 2005 | By Sabina Burmester, Andrew Russell and Deryck Cebula, Ice Cream Global Technology Centre, Unilever R&D Colworth, U.K.

The process used for commercial ice cream manufacture has changed little in the past 75 years – since the first continuous scraped surface freezer was introduced in the 1930s. In recent years, however, several key technological developments have taken place in the way ice cream is manufactured and these are…


Food imaging

31 January 2005 | By Paul D A Pudney, Measurement Science, Unilever R&D Colworth Laboratory

In trying to understand the functionality of food materials, the microstructure has been universally recognised as important – hence the wide use of various forms of microscopy in food science. Conventional light microscopy is well developed and widely used in characterising food structures (J.G.Vaughan 1979). The next level of information…


Keeping check of factory hygiene

31 January 2005 | By Dr. A.P.M. Hasting, Hygienic Processing Project Manager, Unilever Research Colworth

Process hygiene is an ongoing issue of considerable importance for the food industry, as the increasing cost pressures placed on manufacturers by the major retailers have to be met, without compromising the safety and shelf life of the product. Fouling and cleaning are widely accepted to be the cause of…