Partner 57: Unilever R&D Colworth

 Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch company, is one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world. It has two global divisions: Unilever Bestfoods (its Foods Division) and Home and Personal Care. Employing 247,000 people, Unilever sells its products in 150 countries. Unilever brands include Knorr, Lipton, Hellmann’s, Magnum, Dove, Vaseline, Cif and Domestos. Its turnover in 2002 was 48.76 billion Euro, of which 1.166 billion Euro was spent on R&D. Development of the science base and of core product technologies is carried out in 6 state-of-the-art laboratories. Two are in the UK, with one each in the Netherlands, the US, India and China. A network of innovation centres complements the research laboratories across the globe.  Unilever R&D Colworth, one of the UK laboratories, employs approximately 800 people, the majority of whom are scientists or technologists. Colworth is the global centre for Corporate Research, Life Sciences and Safety & Environmental Assurance (SEAC). The Global Technology Centres (GTCs) for Ice Cream, Beverages and Frozen Foods are also located at Colworth. Important areas of research within the Frozen Foods Global Technology Centre are sustainable agriculture and fisheries (Unilever was a founding member of the Marine Stewardship Council), breeding programmes of key vegetable crops and in improving the nutritional quality of foods. Other key areas include quality improvements to meat, fish and vegetable based products, through both improved process technologies and through natural ingredient selection.



Key person

Dr Nick Hedges (Project 4.3 LIPIDTEXT).