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Food technology research draws companies together

27 July 2004

Food technology research draws companies together

Dairy company Fonterra and German transnational BASF are collaborating
on research, which could lead to new commercial opportunities for
value-add dairy products in the rapidly-growing health ingredients

Executives of the two companies met in Auckland today to discuss ways
they can share technological and scientific expertise to develop foods
of the future.

BASF South East Asia president Dr Harald Lauke said the partnership was
BASF's first research cooperation with a dairy company, although BASF
has a long history of including customers and other partners such as
universities in research and development projects.

Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier said BASF, a pioneer in vitamin production,
was well-established as Fonterra's preferred supplier of supplements
used in manufacturing nutritional milk products, and the excellent
business relationship between the two companies was an ideal base for
closer collaboration.

"Global demand for innovative dairy products is increasing all the
time," he said.

"To grow our value add business to meet that demand, we need a strong
base of quality research, which makes partnerships like this critical to
our future growth and success."

Mr Ferrier said three senior staff from Fonterra's Palmerston
North-based Marketing & Innovation division had just returned from
Germany, where they had compared notes on various initiatives in both
human and animal nutrition with senior BASF scientists. He expected
this to lead to further opportunities for collaboration and partnership.

Fonterra and BASF last month announced they would co-fund research into
the development of customised convenience foods.

The POSIFoods (point-of-sale individualised foods) project, also
supported by the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology, combines
cutting-edge nutrition science and food processing technology with
state-of-the-art vending machine technology.

Involving scientists from Massey University's Riddet Centre, the project
aims to develop vending machines capable of delivering snack foods
tailored to individual dietary needs and taste preferences.


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