The Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1 at the Virginia Tech Department of Food Science and Technology has a 7,100- square-foot food processing pilot plant designed for scale-up testing on an industrial level.
DTF has created materials to make packaging and preparation for products ranging from pork and chicken to pastries and vegetables.
Pilot plant equipment
Companies can use the pilot plant to test ways to package products with equipment including ovens such as the commercial Rational Combi Oven, Merry Chef, microwaves, home kitchen equipment, sous vide, vacuum tumblers, injectors, and Multivac R-120 thermoforming machinery.
They can also bring their own equipment to test packaging and preparation methods.
Stephen Franzyshen, market development manager for DTF, said it allows packaging, food science, formulation, cooking, and product evaluation all in one location.
“Customers do not have to interrupt their production line time. With dedicated equipment and resources, we can ensure a high likelihood of success – significantly enhancing speed to market.”
DTF was established in 2000 as a 50:50 joint venture between DuPont and Teijin. It includes a JV with DuPont-Hongji Films Foshan Co in China to make up 11 manufacturing facilities.
European sites are in Dumfries, Scotland and Luxembourg with an innovation centre in Teeside, UK.
It also has American plants in Chester, Virginia; Richmond, Spruance, Virginia; and Cedar Creek, North Carolina.
In Asia, facilities are in Jakarta, Indonesia; Utsonmia, Ibaraki, Gifu, Osaka and Tokyo in Japan.
Global turnover was $1.5bn and volume almost 250,000 tonnes, according to a 2013 company presentation.
DTF JV capability
Brand names include Mylar, Melinex, and Teijin Tetoron PET polyester film.
The Mylar range of ovenable films consists of different sealable and peelable films for use with Mono cPET, Co-ex cPET or ALU trays and heat sealable films designed for flow wrap, VFFS or thermoformable applications.
Mylar COOK is for foods which contain protein, such as meat, poultry, fish and other food products.
Mylar BAKE is for cooking of bakery products such as pastries, breads, biscuits, cakes and puddings.
Joe Marcy, head of the Department of Food Science and Technology, said: “The partnership between Virginia Tech and DTF allows us to work together to help companies develop new ways to package their foods.”