Naturex, a global player in specialty plant-based natural ingredients with headquarters at Avignon, France has built a worldwide network of application laboratories known as SPRING labs to explore the endless possibilities for incorporating natural ingredients into food and beverage products.
SPRINGlab stands for Sharing PRoduct INGenuity laboratory. This unique network dedicated to natural products was designed to favor confidential projects to foster co-creation and address specific issues with tailor-made solutions. “We think it is our role to help customers gain the race to innovation by bringing them a set of tools and services that shortens their time to market,” stated Marc Roller, Chief Science Officer at Naturex. “We are willing to share our expertise on natural ingredients and make our skills available to our clients’ brands,” he continued.
From idea generation to analytical and ageing testing, the network provides the seeds of innovation for finished products. Besides translating ideas into concrete prototypes, the team answers the technical challenges that can occur when switching from synthetic to natural ingredient solutions. In some cases, the applications can be tested by a panel of trained participants to confirm that the product meets market expectations.
The SPRINGlab network consists of 7 regional application laboratories located around the world. The strength of this network relies on skill sharing and respect for regional specificities. “It is important for us to adapt our ingredients to local tastes and demands,” explained Roller. “If a company wants to launch a finished product with only natural ingredients at an international level, we are able to help them navigate compliancy with local regulations and adapt their product to regional tastes”.
The SPRINGlab network has already been implemented in China, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Brazil and the United States with the objective to extend this network to other countries.
SPRINGlab is only one part of a comprehensive innovation strategy at Naturex. The company offers a full range of services to accelerate innovation. All new ingredients developed for the food and beverage industry are tested by the application laboratories. “It’s an additional proof of the ease of formulation of new ingredients designed by our research and development teams,” concluded Roller.