A MULTI-MILLION pound food technology centre of international importance could be built at the University of Chester.
European funding worth £4.7m has been secured to help pay for the project, subject to planning permission being granted by this November.
The three storey centre, located mainly on a car park at the Parkgate Road campus, would house an industrial kitchen and laboratories.
A supporting document says: “The North West Future Food Solutions Exchange is seeking to create a physical base for industry-specific food and drink research and development and will be dedicated to increasing the capacity and success of food and drink enterprises across the North West.
“The Exchange will engage with existing food and drink-related projects and organisations across the region, securing the necessary links to ensure maximum benefit to the food and drink sector.”
Located in Chester, but with links to Cumbria, Lancashire, Merseyside and Manchester, the Exchange will make facilities available to small to medium sized enterprises in the food and drink sector.
These will include industry standard facilities, consultation sessions with academics and industry specialists, the showcasing of new processes and equipment, specially commissioned research and business support.
The centre, of local, regional and international importance, will enable research into the emerging field of food nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is the use of very small particles – measured in the billionths of a metre.
In the food sector, nanotechnology can be employed to enhance flavour and even to make processed foods healthier by reducing the amount of fat and salt needed in production.