As the demand for natural colors continues to grow globally, Hørsholm, Denmark-based Chr. Hansen expanded and completely renovated its research and development (R&D) facilities for its Natural Colors Division in Montpellier, France. The new center will strengthen its possibilities to develop innovative and natural solutions in close collaboration with customers. According to the company, all is now set in place for Chr. Hansen Natural Colors’ future; the division is expected to be acquired — subject to regulatory clearance — next year by EQT, a global investment organization.

“We are ramping up our R&D capabilities in pigment, formulation and application expertise. Also, we are accelerating our breeding programs and new technologies to secure sustainable and high-quality natural sources,” said Luc Ganivet, vice president, head of innovation and application. “More stable formulations and even new colors like blue and green will now be within our reach. This new center will be a magnet to the brightest talents in the industry and will help us to remain a leading force.”

Chr. Hansen said its Natural Colors Division will be even better equipped to use its world-class technical expertise and to innovate to meet the challenges of conversion and cost optimization. Also, the company’s ambition to bring several new and unique products to customers remains stronger than ever. Over the past five years, five to 10 new products been released annually, as well as a steady stream of customization projects for which Chr. Hansen Natural Colors is renowned in the industry.

“With the R&D center, we are cementing our leading position and will be even better equipped to develop differentiated technical solutions that meet the challenges of our customers,” said Klaus Bjerrum, executive vice president. “A key objective for us is to secure knowledge sharing and alignment across our global organization so that we can offer customers the same high level of expertise wherever they are located.”

The skills and competencies gathered at the new center will allow Chr. Hansen Natural Colors to balance short and long-term innovation needs as the company anchors numerous teams in Montpellier with expertise in raw materials, extraction and pigments, breeding, formulation and biotechnologies, the company said.