The facility contains laboratories, kitchens and fully equipped pilot plants for testing new applications for cheese, yoghurt, bakery, savoury, beverages, and nutritional ingredients.
"We used to do pilot food application research at outside locations but this means having to raise the question of budget each time and also slows down information flow," Niek Persoon, head of process technology, biochemistry and application at the new centre, told NutraIngredients.com.
The new Food Innovation Center receives 600 litres of milk daily allowing for in-house cheese production and pilot scale food development for testing new ingredients.
The unit also pools more than 100 employees from R&D, sensory analysis, sales and business development, which is expected to speed up communication between colleagues and reduce the time required to develop new formulations and products.
"If the information flow is better, you hope that the product is more likely to be a success. And with a larger hit-range on the market, the customer ultimately makes savings," said Persoon.
Bob Poldermans, director of research and development at DSM Food Specialties, added that "customers will benefit from more rapid trial results" helping them to meet changing market demands early on.
DSM's food division "strives to spend around 8 per cent of turnover on R&D", according to Persoon and appears to be increasingly taking new products right up to market-ready stage.
It has recently created a sports drink with casein fragments that stimulate insulin release in the body, allowing glucose to be absorbed faster from the blood into the muscle cells, improving recovery after high-intensity exercise, according to DSM Food Specialties.
The drink is being trialled by the Dutch Olympic team this summer and could one day reach mainstream outlets through partnership with a soft drink manufacturer.