food innovation centre
innovative food and beverage product development for start-ups and smes
can we help you bring a new food or beverage product to the market?
our food innovation centre will offer you guidance, advice, technical support, product development services and sensory analysis to enable the creation of your product.
developing or reformulating your food or beverage product
do you need to develop or reformulate your food or beverage product?
the west london food innovation centre can help you develop new and existing formulations and/or reformulations, line extensions, and help make cost improvements to produce your desired product.
together we can turn your innovative ideas into winning products using our product development kitchen, science lab and sensory evaluation facility.
our expert team at the west london food innovation centre (wlfic) combines science and culinary expertise, which can help you bring your concepts to products in our facilities enabling you to re-produce your concept successfully.
read on for further information or register your interest.
what we offer
our expert team at the west london food innovation centre can carry out a range of tests, assessments to help you get the best out of your concept.
product development services
our product development team will help you bring your ideas to a 'protocept' (early prototype) by transforming your concept into a product. we will experiment with the protocept to ensure technical feasibility and, where possible, regulatory compliance in order to develop a recipe for the prototype.
- culinary ideation and protocepting
- product development and/or reformulation
- technical feasibility assessment
- ingredients assessments and selection
nutritional analysis services
our lab scientists will confirm the basic nutritional information of your product and will provide you with labelling advice.
this nutritional information includes:
- carbohydrates (by difference)
sensory evaluation services
we will be able to evaluate the organoleptic features (taste, smell, appearance and texture) of your product and will help you make decisions on its design, optimisation, reformulation, production and quality assurance.
- descriptive sensory profiling: quantitative/qualitative evaluation of product characteristics
- consumer choice drivers: product characteristics that affect consumer liking of the product within its category
- shelf-life sensory profiling: sensory changes in product over time (production-consumption-production-storage-reheating-consumption)
- competitive benchmarking on organoleptic features.
product texture and structure analysis services
these tests focus on specific characteristics of your new products, namely texture and structure which may play a key role in both the design and production process.
a range of microscopic and rheological techniques will offer you an insight into the changes that may occur in your product at different stages during production and storage.
- rheological testing of product flow characteristics, deformation, viscosity, shear-stability and elasticity.
- a texture analyser which mechanically tests and measures your products' physical properties such as firmness, fracturability, adhesiveness, spreadability, etc.
meet the team
academic lead: professor alexandros paraskevas
alexandros paraskevas is in charge of the centre's business development and oversees the centre's operational activity, as well as its business and research outputs.
he has strong links with the industry as well as food and beverage operations management positions, having worked for over 12 years with companies such as marriott international and starwood hotels and resorts.
alexandros is also a professor in strategic risk management, the director of the international centre of hospitality and aviation resilience management (icharm) at the university of west london.
academic support: dr amalia tsiami
amalia tsiami is an associate professor in food science, course leader of ma food business management and the academic support for the west london food innovation centre.
in her role as an academic support for the centre, amalia is in charge of overseeing the technical team as well as business and research outputs.
amalia has extensive experience in academic and industry food research. she has a range of research interests, which include: the relationship between diet and health in regards to type two diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the role of nutrition and hydration in the wellbeing of the older adults in healthcare setting.
R&D Specialist: Catherine Wall
since joining the food innovation centre in 2017, catherine wall has been involved in a variety of lab-based research and development projects that support food and beverage companies throughout london. catherine is responsible for liaising with the product development chef and designing experiments for formulation and/or reformulation of food and beverage products.
catherine is a graduate of john moores university, liverpool, (bsc nutrition 2004) and university college cork, ireland (hdip food science and technology 2015).
in 2015, catherine was the recipient of a food science and technology msc walsh fellowship at teagasc food research centre and university college cork, ireland.
product development chef: marianna alexandrou
marianna is involved in creating new product ranges and ideas, recipe formulations/standardisation and sensory analysis. marianna has knowledge of the latest food and beverage trends and implements findings during product development. she is a bsc culinary arts management graduate at the university.
marianna has over six years’ experience working in the food industry and has previously worked as a new product development chef for sainsbury’s own brand, and as a home economist and recipe developer for morrisons food magazine.
expert comment and analysis
explore the latest trends and gain insights from our specialists at the west london food innovation centre.