The partnership has targeted improved analytical services and development of analytical tools to solve challenges faced by the industry, said the firms.
One area of focus is on ensuring authenticity, with joint work around the detection and identification of adulteration agents.
Another is the development of integrated analytical systems so industry can exploit routine testing as part of food safety management strategies.
Agnès Houpiart-Dupré, strategic projects director at Mérieux NutriSciences, said customers expect them to go beyond the historical area of expertise.
“They ask for integrated offers, covering all their needs and constraints, from best in class food safety and quality instruments, to the associated services, like calibrations/maintenance but as well data management and analysis,” she told FoodQualityNews.
“Food manufacturers are met with ever increasing demands from consumers and legislators with regards to food safety and we believe that by combining forces and expertise we can better help food manufacturers meeting those demands.
“We will make sure to have a transparent and consistent approach with all customers concerned by our partnership. Confidentiality, a key element of our collaboration, will be in any case ensured, for our customers as well as for our partners.”
Joint projects will be started in pilot mode in limited geographical areas before being rolled out wider, the US and Europe are the likely pilot areas. Results and impact will be reviewed on a quarterly basis.
First pilots should start in Q3/Q4 2016 and new offers will be tested with selected customers with a larger launch planned for Q1/Q2 2017.
FOSS and Mérieux NutriSciences identified increasing and fast changing regulation constraints, cost effectiveness and productivity constraints with limited time and money to spend on food safety and quality as challenges.
There are also more global industry stakeholders with a challenge to guarantee a homogeneous level of safety and quality in production and distribution networks, they added.
A joint approach
Peter Skade, head of sales Europe and global accounts at FOSS Analytical, said the benefit for the customer is joint solutions on existing or new technologies.
“Instead of having to deal with two different partners, the customer will benefit [from] packaged offers, with smooth and seamless flow of information between the two partners,” he told us.
“So one benefit could be “one-stop” shopping for maintaining calibrations and ensuring quality procedures are met and documented.
“As an example: It will ease some time-consuming and technical but necessary activities like regular calibrations of instruments.
“Instead, of doing it by himself based on inputs from FOSS and Mérieux NutriSciences, FOSS and Mérieux NutriSciences will proactively propose updates and help shape the calibration plan.”
FOSS is a provider of analytical instruments, primarily in milk, grain, feed, meat and wine.
It has more than 1,400 employees working in development and manufacturing sites in Denmark and China and 28 sales and service companies worldwide.