Bakery supplier Puratos UK today unveiled a £1.27m innovation centre at its UK Fringford Mill site near Bicester, Oxfordshire.

The new Industrial Bakery Competence Centre (IBCC) will focus on the research of bakery industrial processes, the development of industrial applications and the training of new and existing customers, it said.

Julian Lewis, Puratos UK managing director, commented: “This is an important step in our ongoing commitment to investing in our customers’ success, as well as in achieving our ambitious aspirations to double our market share in the next five years.”

The detailed design of the facility and its equipment was guided by key industrial partners, ensuring the newest investment closely matches their large-scale plants as well as meeting their future needs, he said.

Expanding industrial development capabilities at Fringford will mean that Puratos, which invented the first ever bread improver in 1953, is ready for the latest challenges facing the industry, he added.

Capabilities at the Fringford innovation centre include:

•         Rapid testing and development of bakery solutions tailored to the challenges of large-scale manufacture.

•         Development of applications and training in patisserie – from concept to finished goods.

•         Technical, taste and production expertise in chocolate in patisserie.

•         Sensory analysis – consumer testing to validate new products and applications in bakery, patisserie and chocolate.

•         Specialist pilot equipment providing a realistic production environment to test new products and trial production.

Puratos UK is part of Puratos Group, which employs 7,000 people globally, and supplies the bakery, patisserie and chocolate sectors in more than 100 countries worldwide. 

The development at Fringford in Oxfordshire is part of Puratos’ global investment in its network of 58 innovation centres worldwide.

The company recently opened a €15m (£12.7m) Inspirience Centre in Brussels focused on the next generation of R&D-led innovations.