Novozymes + NCFIL: A Mutually Beneficial Partnership
March 23, 2022
Donations Make Us Better
NCFIL appreciates donations from its partners. “Donations enable us to sponsor interns throughout the year, to explore product development in areas without a customer-sponsored project, and to improve our food safety and quality programs to benefit all customers,” says Dr. Bill Aimutis, NCFIL executive director.
“When we work on customer projects requiring enzymes, flavors or other ingredients, we almost always start with our partners’ ingredients. While we cannot endorse particular companies, we can recommend our partners to customers when they commercially produce their products.”
Novozymes, the world leader in biological solutions with a significant North Carolina presence, recently made a financial commitment to the NC Food Innovation Lab (NCFIL). We connected with Novozymes VP, Consumer Biosolutions, Arnaud Melin, to learn a bit more about the future of enzyme usage in food processing and to discuss our partnership.
A Focus on Education
Novozymes works with entrepreneurs to educate them about using enzymes and how they influence the flavor, texture, and nutritional value of their food products. However, “what we offer in biology is not a plug-in,” Melin says. “We need to have in-depth conversations about what they want to achieve. We use NCFIL and other entities to offer a full solution.”
“We have a project that will equip NCFIL with a library of enzymes so that food scientists in the food lab can use enzymes when it makes sense. We also educate the scientists with some technical support,” Melin adds.
This process has already proven successful. Novozymes recently brought a start-up into NCFIL to work on developing a plant-based beverage. Collaborating with food scientists and using an enzyme from the provided library led to a successful solution, and the company now has a presence in the marketplace.
“We are going to have more examples like this going forward. I truly believe that,” says Melin.
The World of Enzymes
While enzymes have been used in food manufacture for many years in applications such as baking and brewing, the growing popularity of plant-based foods provides another arena for enzyme usage. Known for boosting flavors and influencing texture, enzymes are an important ingredient in plant-based foods such as dairy and meat alternatives.
“Plant-based dairy alternatives have improved, but they still do not have the taste and texture consumers expect,” Melin explains. Finding the right enzymes and using the proper processes can get the product closer to what the end-user would expect from a dairy counterpart.
Novozymes also explores how enzymes can help companies provide healthier ingredients, remove “bad label” ingredients, and better yield more affordable products while using fewer resources and raw materials, ultimately for a better world.
“Now we truly have a lot of work and momentum in plant-based food, which is where our mission–to bring quality and sustainability of food and beverage–is at its best,” Melin says.
Relationship with NCFIL
Melin believes it is important to partner with quality experts like NCFIL’s top-notch scientists to complement each organization’s strengths. “Bring great people together with capabilities and then success comes,” he says.
With its North America Headquarters located in Franklinton, NC, Novozymes can access NCFIL’s state-of-the-art equipment, such as the low-moisture extruder and the Pilot Plant, to help with their own prototypes. “Food prototyping is part of NCFIL’s core competency. We’re pleased with our collaboration,” Melin comments.
The relationship between NCFIL and Novozymes is definitely one of mutual benefit.
Work With Us
NCFIL is always looking to foster relationships like the one we have with Novozymes. If you’re interested in donating to NCFIL to support food innovation you can give online or contact Director of Development Celeste Brogdon at email@example.com or 919-515-7857.