Our institute

The Unilever Food and Health Research Institute brings the Unilever Vitality Mission to life with cutting edge science & technology innovations in foods.

Unilever centre of excellence in research for foods innovation

The Unilever Food and Health Research Institute is an inspiring and outstanding place where we work on improving the quality of life of our consumers with science & technology innovations delivered through our product categories. Our staff consists of 450 experts from 40 nationalities. They work in multidisciplinary teams, often in close collaboration with external experts, to improve the quality of our products continuously and to bring great new ideas to life.

Our aim is to be the leader in the following strategic science & technology areas:

  • nutrition and health
  • flavour generation and delivery
  • food microbiology and preservation
  • food structuring and processing consumer perception and behaviour
  • consumer perception and behaviour

We meet the consumer demands for great tasting healthy foods

Consumers are central in everything we do. Over the years we have built up extensive insight into consumer behaviour, preferences and aspirations. We have learned that, for our consumers, health is important but not at the expensive of taste and convenience and that the claimed benefits for our products need to be clear, motivating and trustworthy. This poses many interesting technological challenges for our innovation programmes. It also makes the Unilever Food and Health Research Institute responsible for having systems in place to ensure that our foods can be trusted with respect to safety, nutritional quality and claimed benefits.

We contribute to the developing science

Since the start of our Institute it has been our policy to publish the results of our work in peer-reviewed journals and to discuss the methods and implications of our research with experts in the field. This is particularly important in the area of nutrition and health, microbiology and hygienic processing where it is our role to ensure that external experts endorse the underpinning evidence of our on-pack claims and product safety. In order to contribute to scientific developments and, at least as important, scientific consensus:

  • we collaborate with outstanding scientific experts and Universities in areas of interest
  • we published 76 original papers in peer-reviewed magazines in 2004
  • we delivered 205 external presentations at scientific symposia throughout the world in 2004
  • we invite external experts to discuss scientific and consumer issues at our annual symposia
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