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Lost in Translation

11 October 2021

Let’s say a gentleman visits a local restaurant. He hops into the closest booth, grabs the menu and then a waiter approaches.

Waiter: Hi, may I take your order?

Patron: Yes, thanks. I’ll have the Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) with a High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

Waiter: Excuse me?

Patron: Oh, I’m sorry. I meant a bowl of your specialty breakfast cereal and a large fruit punch.

Sounds crazy, but it’s not that far-fetched.

Every day we consume foods and beverages engineered with ingredients not all of us understand. Fortunately, there’s hope with “clean label” products. They use fewer ingredients, and those ingredients can be easily identified by the average consumer.

To this end, we’ve recently partnered with Wageningen University & Research, a public university focused on researching scientific, social and commercial problems in the field of life sciences and natural resources. We’re working with Wageningen and other companies to find innovations that will improve current products and create new, cleaner ones.

Based in the Netherlands, the university has linked industrial partners across the full supply chain, developing foods that shift from highly processed ingredients to more natural recipes. We’re the consortium’s sole process technology and equipment supplier, and we’re working with several of the world’s biggest companies to find ways to produce these nutritionally simplistic products.

Sarah Westergreen helps manage our research and development process. She says, "This project links industrial partners across the full supply chain to increase consumer appeal and acceptance of plant-based foods, by creating clean label products using fewer and more familiar ingredients.”

But this isn’t a one-way street. As much as we’re eager to share, we’re eager to learn. Our partners are successful, industry-adjacent leaders, and we’re excited to work with these food production giants, helping optimize our plant-based applications while building key relationships.

“SPX FLOW will collaborate with industrial suppliers of ingredients, cultures and raw materials, product manufacturers and research partners across the full supply chain,” says Steffen Hansen, one of our product development engineers in Denmark. “In turn, we’ll ensure applicability in practice.’’

We’re on track to conclude this, “Clean label solutions for structuring plant-based foods” research project by 2025. For more on this project, see Wageningen University & Research’s website.

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The Author

Pranav Shah,Process Category Director

Pranav Shah is Process Category Director for Fresh and Fermented Dairy and Plant-Based, striving to achieve superior value-propositions for the customers and decrease the overall life-cycle costs of the processing lines.

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