Wafilin will regularly interview its partners in the coming period about their vision, dreams, and challenges in Food and Dairy. We start with Koos Oosterhaven, director of the Water Application Centre (WAC) and the Food Application Centre for Technology (FACT). After the opening of the FACT in October 2018, we are eager for the situation at the FACT. Oosterhaven shares with us the recent developments.
The FACT is for the food business community and for food technology students of vocational and higher education (University of Applied Sciences). It is a food grade research and demonstration facility with modern food preparation equipment and focuses on product and process innovation for dairy, sauces and bakery and training and courses.
It is almost half a year after the opening of the FACT. What has happened in the past few months?
In addition to the further installation of the digicooker, among other things, plans and agreements have been made with the first users of the FACT. With a joint customer of Wafilin Systems, investigations are already started in the FACT. There appears to be a lot of interest from our network for conducting high-quality tests in the food industry. Our clients from Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences also show that the companies where our students graduate have an interest in the practical implementation of FACT research. One of the reasons why the FACT exists: a research area where research and education reinforce each other to make room for innovation. Mrs Rietman has been appointed as operator/manager of the FACT. She will start in May. As a project manager from Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, I am and remain primarily responsible for the management of both centres.
That immediately makes clear your role. What does FACT have to offer us as a customer?
Equipment, knowledge, analysis, and manpower. The facilities where you can safely conduct reliable research. The lecturers contribute with knowledge and experience and can give research just the level that was not initially thought of. Our High-Resolution Liquid Chromatography-Mass spectrometer is used for analysis: this way, for example, (un)known components can be determined. And manpower in the form of project staff as well as students, who can carry out the investigations for companies throughout the continuous learning track.
This also applies to the WAC only in the field of water technology. Is there still a link between the two centres?
Yes. Actually, it works before and after each other. The food industry is, for instance, keen on reducing the amount of process water to reduce discharging costs. That relates also to product quality and/or to the development of alternative processes. Due to the clustering of the centres on the food and WaterCampus, it is already possible to conduct research or have it carried out simultaneously from a walking distance. This makes the lead time of an investigation a lot shorter and therefore the works more efficiently.
That is a unique selling point. What is your ambition with the FACT?
To optimize our dairy research, it is my ambition to realizing a closed milk processing chain, from cow till consumer. In that chain, FACT is responsible for the processing of raw milk into a variety of products. We are working on a food grade status which will make it possible to create real consumer products. For this development, FACT works closely with the Dairy Campus, also located in Leeuwarden. And companies who want to participate in this are very welcome to come and explore possibilities with one of our lecturers or partners such as Wafilin Systems.
If you could give our readers one suggestion, what would it be?
Broaden your horizon, drop by in one of the centres. You are guaranteed to be inspired.
Curious about the FACT? or the WAC? You can also make an appointment for a tour by contacting Jos van Dalfsen, R&D Manager of Wafilin Systems: firstname.lastname@example.org.