Chr. Hansen’s research budget has been increased by almost 10% from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2007 to 2008. Reason: Continuous innovation is a key driver for maintaining a forerunner position in the market for natural food ingredients.
Health is now the number one driver for the global food ingredients business, and Chr. Hansen is responding by increasing its R&D investments.
"Customer-driven innovation is one of the key pillars underpinning Chr. Hansen's growth," says Peter Olesen, Executive Vice President, Chr. Hansen. "And research and development are crucial success factors for innovation.”
Chr. Hansen builds world-class knowledge around the company’s technological core competencies: finding and developing micro organisms for the global food and health industries. The fundamental aim is to improve the quality of food and health - and to do so using natural ingredients and processes.
According to Mr Olesen, knowledge of microorganisms and their genes is needed in order to produce ingredients that can help overcome some of the current lifestyle associated diseases.
“A stronghold is our research into the area of immune health and how probiotics can help reduce infections and counteract the chronic inflammation involved in the so-called metabolic syndrome common to obesity, diabetes and heart failures,” he explains.
“In this area, Chr. Hansen will continue to break new ground and pioneer product developments. At the core of our innovation approach, however, remains an unwavering commitment to delivering still better solutions that directly address customer needs.”
Nutrigenomics on top of the agenda
The rapidly progressing science of nutrigenomics is also expected to give access to solid scientific evidence for relationships between the genome, food, and health, which will support the development of products with a high nutritional quality and of functional foods.
“Indeed, nutrigenomics is ranking high on our agenda. It fits perfectly with our ambition in the field of food innovation,” notes Mr Olesen.
Chr. Hansen’s focus on R&D has proven its worth by a stream of inventions. The records of inventions have already surpassed the target for the whole year, and both food and non-food industries are showing increasing interest in potentially new applications of the company’s core competencies in starter cultures, probiotics and metabolites.