At the forefront of innovation
Since we started in 2007 as a spin out company of a research project of the Centre for Dairy Products of the University of Santiago de Compostela, innovation has been at the heart of what we do and has helped us become the first Galician dairy company to become a technology-based company. To keep working on innovation we invest 10% of our annual revenue back into R&D.
Innovative companies play a key role in the development of a country or region. On the one hand, they are the driving force of the economy, as they transfer their knowledge and experience to the production sector. On the other, they are important creators of value for their region. Aware of the dynamic role of innovation, we have developed an ecosystem for external and internal innovation, focused on different areas. With our own technological projects or collaborating with innovative national (GALIAT, BIALAC) and international (FROM’INNOV) projects, but also open innovation (BFF), we develop groundbreaking products, services and processes adapted to the needs of our industry, hospitality and retail clients.
An innovative ingredient in our foundation: buttermilk
With noble raw materials and a lot of R&D we developed a cream cheese made with buttermilk. Buttermilk has ten times more polar lipids than milk, excellent nutritional benefits and great emulsifying properties. This lends excellent nutritional properties to our cream cheese and makes it an extraordinarily versatile ingredient for the professional kitchen but also for the food processing industry. With the natural emulsifiers of buttermilk, textures are easier to work with, while foams are more aerated and stable. Oils and fats can be combined better and the final product is more stable.
Innovative new flavours, uses and textures
In retail, we are constantly working to develop new cream cheese flavours. To do so, we take into account their health properties, practicality and pleasure, but also new consumer trends. To find these opportunities we work in collaboration with consumers. Our Galician Flavours range (Mussel and Barnacle) is an example of this collaboration, as it was developed after a digital action with consumers showed us there was an interest to have a selection of Galician flavours for easy-to-make small bites and snacks. And we must not forget our most recent launch: Kefir Cream Cheese, the first ever spreadable kefir.
Research and Development is also at the heart of our work to develop products with a specific composition, texture and application for our professional clients, with whom we work closely to develop bespoke formulas. An example of this co-creation with professional chefs is our Culinary Yoghurt, which last year was shortlisted for the SIAL INNOVATION 2018 awards. A unique product with a strong rich yoghurt flavour that can be used in many different recipes that would not be possible with a normal yoghurt. With its innovative texture we can make mousses, ice creams, sauces, dips and cakes with the distinctive flavour of yoghurt and an outstanding functionality for the professional chef.
We have collaborated with different research groups and we have taken part in a pioneer study that has proven the health benefits of the Atlantic Diet: GALIAT 6+7, a project in which we have partnered with several Galician organizations, the Spanish National Council for Scientific Research and research departments from the universities of Vigo and Santiago.
Within GALIAT 6+7 and in partnership with the Department of Analytical and Food Chemistry of the University of Vigo (UVigo) and the Centre for Dairy Products of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) we have also developed a study on the probiotic and functional properties of kefir.
Development of 100% biodegradable plastics and new eco-efficient processing
In order to focus more on sustainability and the circular economy, we have taken part – together with several Galician organizations – in the BIALAC project, led by A Coruña’s municipal water company (Emalcsa), to develop new cheap and 100% biodegradable plastics made from whey to be used in the packaging of food or other non-polluting purposes.
In the development of new and better production processes that will enable us to be more flexible and answer the needs of our clients, we have started the FROM’INNOV project, which has received a Eurostars award. This distinction is awarded by EUREKA, an intergovernmental network that supports R&D in the European Union. This has highlighted FROM’INNOV’s strong innovative approach but we are also very proud to be able to say that the first international project we lead is number 12 of a total of 325 projects of international consortia lead by SMEs from all over Europe with an extensive experience in R&D.
FROM’INNOV is a highly innovative project that will allow us to develop new eco-efficient production process for hard and semi hard cheeses, with no ageing period and lower carbon footprint and water use than traditional methods. It will also help to improve the functional properties of cheeses and adapt them to consumer demands. It will be developed in Quescrem’s R&D Department in close collaboration with the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) in Rennes (France), Europe’s first Agronomy research institute and the second largest Agricultural Science centre in the world.
We support innovative entrepreneurship
We are also aware of how important it is for the economic and social development of our region to transfer experiences and knowledge to entrepreneurs and newly created projects. For that reason, we are one of the driving companies of Business Factory Food (BFFood), the first business accelerator for the Galician food sector, driven by the Galician Regional Goverment, Clusaga (Galician Food Cluster) and leading companies in the food industry. Within BFFood we are currently mentoring the Monkey Markets project, aimed at launching an online software to help food businesses reach the Chinese market.
Our aim with all these projects, all the research and development work we carry out, and all our efforts is not only to improve our competitiveness in a demanding global market, but also to contribute to a higher environmental and social sustainability. To achieve this goal, we know that we must work daily with commitment, rigorousness and dedication, creating value for us and our region. In that sense, innovation has a very important role to play.