Florida Food Products (FFP) on June 9 celebrated the official opening of a new Innovation Center and lab at its headquarters in Eustis, Fla. The facility encompasses several specialized areas including a microbiology lab, dry products preparation room, culinary kitchen, sample lab and a customer demo space.  

“When we made the decision to accelerate our innovation process, particularly in the clean label food protection category, we quickly realized we needed an Innovation Center that would offer this physical space and additional technical capabilities to execute our plans,” said Christopher Naese, vice president business development & sustainability, FFP.  

Pavan Soma, PhD, Director of R&D at FFP, was tasked with mapping out additional analytical and pilot- scale production equipment needed, including several bioreactors, analyzers for color and texture as well as organic acids, minerals and other molecules of interest. "We are thrilled that with the new lab, both scoping and prototype development time is reduced. The Innovation Center provides a modern spacious lab that will be able to accommodate additional scientists we are looking to bring into the group," said Soma.

Guests that attended the grand opening event included representatives from the City of Eustis, Lake County Florida, the Chamber of Commerce, FFP’s scientific advisory board members, representatives from the University of Florida, Keiser University, key local suppliers, neighbors and friends of FFP. After a ceremonial ribbon cutting, a tour was conducted that included both the lab and the factory, where highlights of the site’s most recent capital upgrades where unveiled. 

Attendees were treated to a range of refreshments including beverages, appetizers and sweets, containing ingredients representing FFP’s various product solutions. These included FFP’s wide variety of solutions, from natural meat cures to antioxidants, teas, botanicals, fermented vegetable juices and alcohol flavors, for some zero-proof drinks.

Florida Food Products Inc. (FFP) has offered a portfolio of healthy, naturally sourced plant-based food and beverage ingredient solutions for over 65 years