New technology treasure trove for cool pleasures

Unilever R&D opens global centre for Ice Foods in the UK & Italy.

Ice Foods

Colworth Science Park, 18 June 2008: Unilever, the global market leader in ice cream, today opened its twin-sited Centre of Excellence Ice Foods, a global product development centre for ice cream and ice-based foods. It will bring together all Unilever's know-how in ice, freezing, ingredients and processing to create new ice creams for Magnum, Cornetto, Frusi, Twister, Carte D'Or and Ben & Jerry's. The R&D centre employs 130 R&D professionals in Colworth Science Park, United Kingdom and Caivano, Italy.

The challenge for the technical centre is to develop exciting, tasty and wholesome ice-based pleasure foods. The ice experts will focus on using natural ingredients (e.g. milk, fruit, cereals) and minimising fat, sugar and calories without compromising on taste and enjoyment. They will try to increase the excitement and indulgent pleasure of ice cream and ice-based foods through the creation of new sensory experiences and innovative shapes.

To deliver real stand-out from competition, the Ice Foods product development centre will strive for world-class technical capability that can be applied in ice cream and across Unilever's Foods business:

Freezing, aeration of products & ice technology

Controlling ice crystals through the freezing process and keeping air in ice based products to give different and fun textures, flavour delivery and/or reduce fat and sugar levels. Also, using ice as an ingredient to deliver new eating sensations and occasions e.g. drinkable or fizzy ice.

Product shaping & forming

Product design and processing technology to make, shape and assemble ice-based products for unique wholesome and indulgent sensory experiences. Includes cold shaping technology used to create Magnum Temptation, filled with more inclusions than ever before.

The ice cream value chain – from cow to cone

All the technical know-how needed to make ice cream: from raw materials to creative product formulation and design, to manufacturing and distribution to the shelf ¾ around the world.

Packaging & selling systems for ice based foods

Innovative packaging formats for ice foods that are attractive and functional for the consumer, ease handling for customers, and are responsible with respect to the environment. Selling systems that make products available when and where people want them.

Iain Campbell, Director of the Centre of Excellence Ice Foods, stated at the opening:

"We want to be a treasure trove of technologies for new innovations that wow our consumers."

The opening ended with the world's first Ice Cream Olympics, symbolising the R&D centre's drive to be the best in the world.

More information

Caspar Nixon
Media Relations Unilever UK
Tel: +44 208 439 6256
Jonna Wiersma
Global Foods R&D communications
Tel: +31 6 1138 5543

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