Cookie flavours tested in new food hub


A new food innovation hub has opened up in Canterbury, which will allow food companies to test and trial new products without disrupting their production lines.

The centre at Lincoln completes a network of similar hubs around the country.

Cookie Time's newest creation is green tea and white chocolate cookies, which will eventually be sold in Japan.

But testing this new and slightly unusual flavour is only possible because of a new food innovation centre that's just opened at Lincoln University.

"It's really taking an idea out of a commercial kitchen and really taking it into a small production environment so you can find out how efficient it is, if it's made consistently, it's safe and that the market really wants to buy it," says Food South chief executive John Morgan.

Cookie Time's technical innovations manager says at this time of the year their factory is running at full capacity, and testing and trailing new products just isn't possible.

But the new Food South centre means Cookie Time and other innovative food producers can bring their ingredients and just get to work.

"We can come here, do small-scale trials that are 5kg to 10kg even, so a lot more convenient, and you can just do it with a couple of people," says Cookie Time technical manager Ross Rotherham.

It's not just cookie bakers making use of the new centre; ANZCO Foods exports red meat to more than 80 countries. The new hub means they can easily trial sample new products.

Mr Morgan says businesses can just take up a short-term tenancy to carry out their testing and production.

"Whether it's meat products, dairy products or cereals and grains, so we're multi-purpose. We're trying to cover a broad range of product development with a lot of different practical support," he says.

The official opening of Food South completes a full network of centres like it that are already operating in the North Island.

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