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Goodman Fielder patents start drift into smart foods

Goodman Fielder to commercialise three new products with health benefits

By Fiona Rotherham

Jan. 15 (BusinessDesk) - Goodman Fielder, the food ingredients manufacturer facing a takeover from Wilmar International and First Pacific Co, will commercialise three new food products this year with health benefits for consumers – the first of a pipeline of innovation into smart foods.

The three patented products include a new baking product with enhanced health properties and two dairy products with improved sensory and health attributes, the company said in a statement.

Goodman Fielder research and innovation senior manager Shantanu Das said he couldn’t say more about the products at this stage other than they should reach shop shelves in the next 12 months and “the public will judge for themselves”.

The products have been developed over the past two years in conjunction with the Palmerston North-based Riddet Institute, the government centre of research excellence focused on the food industry.

As one of Australasia’s largest food companies, Goodman Fielder decided two and a half years ago to establish a research and innovation office, head hunting Das who was then innovation manager at the Riddet Institute. Employees are based in New Zealand and Australia.

Previously most innovation in the fast-moving consumer goods area came from a marketing perspective rather than science, said Goodman Fielder’s R&D and quality officer Andrew Teixeira.

“Most consumers don’t even know what they will want in the future. In some ways, it’s a bit like the smartphone; before it was built no-one knew they wanted or needed it but now that it’s here, everyone wants and needs one.”

Das said the team was developing new technology to deliver differentiated products that would be hard to copy in three categories : dairy, baking and grocery.

“Key drivers of our innovation are taste, health, convenience, and cultural relevance,” he said.

The Riddet Institute works with a number of food manufacturers to give them access to science and scientists to create new and improved high value nutritional products. High Value Nutrition, the first and largest of the government’s controversial 10 National Science Challenges, has funding of up to $180.8 million over 10 years to fund science that meets the goal of developing high value foods with validated health benefits to boost exports. The goal is to boost food exports to $45 billion by 2025.


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