Unilever, the global consumer goods company, has opened the Centre of Excellence Assembled Foods, a global product development centre for composite food products such as meals, salads, snacks and bakery goods.
It will bring together all Unilever's know-how of complex food products, such as the selection and protection of high quality ingredients in products (fruits & vegetables, meats, fish, cereals), downstream product assembly and freezing technology. The R&D centre employs 50 R&D professionals in Cisterna, Italy.
The challenge for the technical centre is to develop convenient, tasty and healthy assembled food products. The approach will be to use exclusive ingredients and culinary techniques to deliver restaurant quality with convenient foods. The centre's objective will be to achieve step changes in taste quality, naturalness and nutritional goodness through innovative products and process design.
To achieve this, the Unilever R&D centre in Cisterna will build towards a world-class technical capability in:
Scouting the external world: Scouting new trends focusing on novel technologies, process design and full upscaling are the first steps for the creation of early idea prototypes that can be further developed through open innovation and exclusive partnerships.
Roberto Nardi, Director of the Centre of Excellence Assembled Foods, stated at the opening: "Today we celebrate our passion for food and for R&D excellence. These two ingredients allow us to bring restaurant quality to people's plate at home, with convenient food products."
The Centre of Excellence was opened by cutting a giant pasta ribbon. The day ended with a dinner for the 200 guests from around the world