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Arla 'Leading the Whey' with New Innovation Centre

03 September 2018

DENMARK - Farmer-owned Arla Foods is to build a groundbreaking innovation centre in Nr. Vium, Denmark to unleash the wonders of whey.

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.

Arla’s belief in innovation being the key to unlocking the future of dairy was demonstrated when it opened Arla Innovation Centre (AIC) in Skejby, Denmark last year. With the EUR 36.3 million investment, Arla is now creating a hub for research and development innovation within whey and milk based ingredients.

Peder Tuborgh, CEO of Arla Foods, said: "The world’s population is growing, which 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, which is expected to open in 2021, 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, said: "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, creating a unique environment for process development and pilot production. 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 pasteurization technology to improve functionality and shelf-life.

At the moment, approx. 70 scientists, technicians and engineers are working with innovation in AFI, but according to Henrik Andersen, the new innovation centre will provide even more opportunities:

"The colleagues working with innovation in AFI are among the most talented in the world and it is our ambition to continue to attract the very best calibre of colleagues that share our mission of discovering and delivering all the wonders whey can bring to people’s lives. This will be an exciting place to work with the most challenging development projects in the dairy industry," said Mr Andersen.

Facts about the new innovation centre:

  • 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 state-of-the-art facility with open office spaces, labs and a pilot plant,
  • The centre will employ up to 90 people.

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