FoodPilotPlant Norway is Norway's only research factory for food and is located at NMBU and Nofima at Campus Ås. At our pilot sites you will find infrastructure adapted for research, innovation and teaching in the processing of all food raw materials as well as residuals. Here we work on research projects, student education and test-productions of everything from meat substitutes made from beans to tapas cheese made from goat's milk.
We have equipment to produce various foods, such as cereals, beer, cheese and sausages, tanks for fermentation, packaging and for investigating the growth of pathogens in food. The Food Pilot Plant has access to laboratories with a wide range of analysis equipment.
Why do we need a food research pilot plant? Food production today embraces wider than before. It is not enough just to get food on the table, society is increasingly demanding sustainable use of raw materials. This means that we must have an increased focus on utilizing the entire raw material and using green technology when producing food. We investigate methods for more sustainable food production and the best use of raw materials.
FoodPilotPlant Norway is mainly used for research and teaching, but we can also take on assignments for food manufacturers and other customers. This is how we utilize our expertise and available equipment, as well as making contacts that are valuable for both research and teaching.
The infrastructure grant from the Norwegian Research Council gives us the opportunity to develop state-of-the-art pilot facilities on Campus Ås, which makes us an outstanding arena for food production, education, research, development and industrial collaboration. The infrastructure has enabled us to expand our research opportunities, both with regards to food processing, development of new food products and research on food safety. FoodPilotPlant Norway has thus made it possible for us to apply for and receive funding for new and innovative research projects.
In this infrastructure proposal, we apply for a further upgrading of the existing national infrastructure, FoodPilotPlant Norway at Campus Ås, which was established on the Norwegian Roadmap for research infrastructure (NFR) through the funding (NFR: 208674/F50) from 2011 - 2014 (Phase I). Through the operation of the Phase I national infrastructure , new demands have been identified. In addition, due to limited funding in Phase I, equipment had to be prioritized. Old equipment (pre Phase I) now strongly needs upgrading and renewal, without funding some of the infrastructure facilities might stop. Through a Phase II upgrading, both national and international food science research communities will have access to a relevant, up-to-date food-processing infrastructure that supports high-quality research and innovation. State-of-the-art pilot plant facilities makes Campus Ås an outstanding arena for food production, education, research, development and industrial contract work. The infrastructure has enabled Campus Ås to expand the research possibilities, both with respect to food processing, new food product development and food safety research. FoodPilotPlant Norway has thus enabled us to apply for, and to be allocated funding for new and innovative research projects, which broaden the Norwegian research fundament. Today the food industry encapsulates a broader concept than earlier, and there is higher societal demands for a sustainable use of the entire raw material. This means that increased focus on obtaining more valorized products from the food value chain by the use of green technology, which needs to be addressed by the food industry. Phase II will strongly contribute to research within this shift. Considering the already outstanding food science research community at Campus Ås, there is every reason to envisage extensive use and further upgrading of such facilities.