Innovation and the frequency, at which new product development occurs, is key to competing in today's market. Food companies increasingly select their ingredient suppliers on their ability to innovate and to assist them with developing new food concepts, which support a healthier lifestyle.
Effective innovation is based on intensive discussions with customers and is driven by regional preferences and cultures. Therefore, Unimills adopted the open innovation model, and recently formed a strong new product development (NPD) team with an extensive knowledge of oils and fats physics, chemistry and processing. Our product developers lead our innovation projects, which are selected and monitored by a strict stage-gate process.
The Sime Darby Unimills stage-gate process allows effective assessment and monitoring of all innovation projects on both commercial and technical criteria. Global collaboration exists between the our NPD-team and the more than 200 colleagues of the Sime Darby R&D centre and the Sime Darby Academy in Malaysia with a strong track record in sustainable plantation science and oil processing R&D.
Our open innovation model is also based on a close collaboration with the famous food application expertise and facilities at NIZO food research and Netherlands Bakery Centre in the Dutch Food Valley.
This innovative power leads to shorter lead times than ever before and the highest possible success rate, which are key elements to rapidly enable our customers to bring new products to the market.
To develop new oil formulations, which support a healthier lifestyle, we are facing the challenge of how to make the transition from trans to trans-free and from high saturated fat to high-unsaturated fat formulations, without losing product integrity and maintaining excellent taste perception.
Fundamental understanding of fat physics and chemistry is essential. Crystallization behaviour of fats has a significant impact on applicability in food products.