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Academic links fuel Macphie sales

A FAMILY-OWNED food ingredients-maker believes it has generated £500,000 of sales through its partnerships with academics.

RESEARCH REWARDS: Heriot-Watt University's Dr Carmen Torres-Sanchez and Macphie head of R&D Ashley Baker.
RESEARCH REWARDS: Heriot-Watt University's Dr Carmen Torres-Sanchez and Macphie head of R&D Ashley Baker.

Macphie of Glenbervie has run 15 research projects with universities in the past three years in areas including product development, packaging and manufacturing.

Among the successes for Macphie - which makes ready-to-use culinary sweet and savoury sauces, fruit coulis for desserts, bakery mixes and icings from sites at Stonehaven and Uddingston, South Lanarkshire - was the design of more cost-effective products following a study of the chemistry involved.

The company also worked with Heriot-Watt University to use ultrasound to allow the density, volume and texture of products to be improved during baking or cooking. Macphie and the university are working on developing that technology on a commercial scale.

Ashley Baker, head of research and development at Macphie of Glenbervie, said: "Our partnerships with academia have ranged from short-term projects that address specific business challenges to longer- term "blue sky" research and development collaborations.

"Through engagement with Scotland's academic research base, we have strengthened our innovation capabilities and most crucially translated research into practical and profitable business propositions.

"The business benefits of these collaborative projects include new product developments, improvements in the manufacturing process and a broader understanding of food science, all of which are important for future growth."

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