H E Stringer Flavours (HESF), an independent manufacturer of creative and cost-effective flavourings, extracts and aromas for food manufacturers, has signed up to the national SPRINT business support programme. SPRINT funding will enable HESF to collaborate with The Open University (OU) to develop protocols that will accelerate the evaluation of new products and materials for commercialisation.
HESF supplies a range of diverse products from bakery, dairy, ice cream, vegan approved meat and dairy flavours, and beverages from cola through to gin, and non-alcoholic alternatives. HESF will access systems and expertise from the OU to develop new analytical solutions that will ensure the optimum quality control and technical evaluation of raw ingredients and their impact on finished flavour solutions.
The Open University will provide HESF with state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and expertise in laboratory assay development. The OU will utilise its portfolio of gas chromatography (GC-MS) and comprehensive gas chromatographymass spectrometer (GCXGC-MS) systems.
The project will examine the suitability of novel GC-MS and GCxGC-MS assays against a range of products and formulations to evaluate and fully characterise samples from areas including steam extracted herbal compounds, natural oils, botanicals, extracts, and masking and sensory enhancement compounds.
The project will be funded by a grant from the £4.8 million SPRINT (SPace Research and Innovation Network for Technology) programme that provides unprecedented access to university space expertise and facilities. SPRINT helps businesses through the commercial exploitation of space data and technologies.
Lorna Whiteley, Accounts and Purchasing Manager at H E Stringer Flavours said: “We use multi-skilled people throughout the business and are looking forward to extending this via the SPRINT project to enable our technical team to work with The Open University.
“We will combine our skillsets, using existing industry processes and the unique technology of The Open University to progress the optimisation of flavours and make these commercially available to our customers.”
Dr Geraint Huw Morgan from the School of Physical Sciences at The Open University added: “This SPRINT project is the first time that H E Stringer Flavours has applied for grant funding and also represents their first time working with a university. We’re delighted that they’ve chosen to work with the OU and by focusing on novel sector-disruptive assays, we can help them to develop new products and secure a competitive advantage. In addition, we are aiming to provide them with the assays and specifications to support the development of their own in-house R&D facility.
“The SPRINT project will be driven by H E Stringer Flavours’ requirements as they’ve already identified a product to go to market. Our analytical expertise will help them to accelerate the process by suggesting experiments to resolve their questions, based on our collective know-how and existing strategic partnerships with a range of instrument manufacturers.”