Food Technology Transfer

Technology transfer is aimed at assisting the development of competitive businesses, in line with market opportunities, by developing the capabilities of people in the Industry.

The programme encourages innovation, promotes the adoption of appropriate technology and provides technological information and development support to meet the needs of individual food businesses and the industry as a whole.

The wide range of support services include the following:

New Product Development

New Product Development (NPD) is the life-blood of the Northern Ireland Food Industry. Adding value is of huge importance. Loughry Food Technologists can assist in the development of new/improved product concepts from kitchen scale prototyping to full pilot products. For more information visit Food Innovation and Business.

Factory design

Designing and building a modern food factory is complex and expensive. Not only must factories meet statutory and legislative requirements they must also meet with the approval of customers, in particular the food retailers. Loughry Technologists have been helping Northern Ireland food factories design their factories for over 15 years. For more information visit the individual Food Sector Teams within support for the Meat Industry, Dairy Industry and the Cereal, Fruit, Vegetable and Beverage Industries.

Quality systems and auditing

Advice and guidance is provided on all aspects of quality systems from design to accreditation, including the development of policies, procedures and check sheets. Northern Ireland food companies are kept up to date on systems offered by third party systems including BRC and EFSIS. Qualified auditors also offer a Pre-Audit Service to ensure companies meet the requirements of a full accreditation audit. For more information visit the individual Food Sector Teams within support for the Meat Industry, Dairy Industry and the Cereal, Fruit, Vegetable and Beverage Industries.

Packaging

Loughry Packaging Technologists can offer advice on many aspects of packaging including material selection, material strength and integrity, packaging analysis and how to increase shelf life. For more information visit the Packaging Centre.

Sourcing equipment

It is important that prior to making decisions on large capital purchases to know the scale of equipment needed, who the main suppliers are, and what the costs are going to be. Loughry has been helping the industry for over 15 years by providing support and information, making contacts with suppliers and organising visits to see similar plant in operation elsewhere. For more information visit the individual Food Sector Teams within support for the Meat Industry, Dairy Industry and the Cereal, Fruit, Vegetable and Beverage Industries.

Legislation and labelling

Loughry Food Technologists can provide advice on legislative issues across all food sectors and give assistance with interpretation. Similarly, clarification can be given on the major labelling requirements including product composition, ingredients listings, nutritional and health claims, and the declarations for allergens and genetically modified foods. For more information visit the individual Food Sector Teams within support for the Meat Industry, Dairy Industry and the Cereal, Fruit, Vegetable and Beverage Industries.

Hygiene

Food Hygiene is much more than cleanliness, it involves all measures necessary to ensure the wholesomeness of food during preparation, processing, manufacturing and packing. Loughry Technologists assist Northern Ireland food companies comply with their legal obligations by providing guidance on food law and have experience across all commodity sectors on subjects such as cleaning and disinfection, equipment selection and hygienic manufacturing processes. For more information visit the individual Food Sector Teams within support for the Meat Industry, Dairy Industry and the Cereal, Fruit, Vegetable and Beverage Industries.

Organoleptic assessment

Technologists at Loughry have worked closely with industry to develop the facilities and protocols for conducting “near-market” sensory evaluation. The facility, based in the Food Innovation Centre, is widely used by food businesses across all the major commodity sectors to assess new products using trained taste panellists.

Innovation vouchers

Invest Northern Ireland award Innovation Vouchers to the value of £5,000 to small and medium sized businesses to work, on a commercial in confidence manner, with technologists from a list of approved knowledge providers, of which CAFRE is one. This partnership provides the company with the support and knowledge required to help businesses innovate, develop and grow, through access to research and scientific expertise.

There are generally four opportunities per year for applications and each company may avail of three sequential vouchers. Through the use of innovation vouchers, Pepp Up has successfully launched their innovative products.

If you are interested in this the use of Innovation Vouchers with CAFRE, please contact Christine Haydock at christine.haydock@daera-ni.gov.uk