Arla has opened a new innovation centre that it claims will significantly boost its NPD capabilities.

The centre, at the Danish dairy giant¹s Stourton dairy in Leeds, will allow Arla to research and test new products in a plant that replicates production conditions.

The company has not revealed how much it spent on the development.

Facilities at the site include heat treatment equipment and a mini-pasteuriser that can process a range of products as diverse as milk, sundaes, custard and alcohol sauces.

Products under NPD testing at the plant can be processed at 125 litres per hour, with speeds of up to 225 litres per hour to test products under commercial conditions.

“The centre will not only provide a boost to the development of our own products, but will be extremely valuable to our customers by supporting them with their product development,” said centre manager Audrey Braux.

Rival Milk Link is also opening an innovation centre this year, at Taw Valley.