Hire of pilot plant equipment and facilities for industry

CSIRO's food manufacturing research and development pilot plants are unique national facilities which offer significant expertise, technologies and infrastructure to the food industry.

We help companies:

  • enhance their global competitiveness through development of novel products
  • access some of the world's most innovative technologies
  • reduce their risk in the commercialisation of new products and technologies.

How we help the food, ingredient and technology manufacturing industries

We have an outstanding history of working with food manufacturers to:

  • create innovative food products
  • apply conventional and innovative food technologies
  • increase process efficiencies
  • produce prototype batches
  • scale up new products and processes to near production-scale
  • train staff and customers.

We help companies with a range of options from a once-off use of a single piece of equipment to prepare a commercial batch of product to long-term, strategic partnerships in developing pilot plant applications using innovative technologies.

Facility case study: Clextral Pacific

France's leading extrusion technology company, Clextral, along with Australian food process expert company, Inovo, and CSIRO's food innovation centre have developed a world first transformative technology that could develop brand new food products with improved functionality using far less energy than currently needed.

The potential value in future manufacturing of foods and ingredients such as dairy powders, flavours, coffee, nutraceuticals and beverages is estimated in hundreds of millions of dollars. The world's first pilot-scale set up is at CSIRO's Werribee site and Australian company, Flavourtech, is a commercialisation partner for the technology for tea and coffee globally.

The patented extrusion porosification technology (EPT) process can dry numerous products and ingredients with higher solids content and operates at a lower temperature than regular spray drying. This gives products unique characteristics and improved functional properties. EPT not only saves large amounts of energy, but causes significantly less damage to a food's flavour and nutritional composition.

Clextral: New technology, new foods

Show transcript

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Clextral, New technology; new foods]

[Images flash through of Maxime Collado walking through a factory and then working on a computer and then the camera zooms in on Maxime Collado and text appears: Maxime Collado, Project Engineer, Clextral]

Maxime Collado: Clextral is a French company manufacturing extrusion production lines.

[Images flash through of Maxime Collado and two other employees working in the factory]

With the Australian company Innovo we’ve developed award first technology that could lead to big changes in the food industries.

[Camera zooms in on one of the employees and then images flash through of the employee looking at a screen and then the image changes back to Maxime Collado again.]

 The possible future commercial impact for this technology is estimated in hundreds of millions of dollars. 

[Image changes to show Maxime Collado and another employee operating a machine, looking into a stainless steel pot and then the camera zooms in on the powder in the pot]

Extrusion porosification technology, or EPT, is a technology used to dry high concentrated products. 

[Image shows Maxime Collado taking a sample of the powder from the pot]

EPT can handle much more viscous solids than conventional spray drying.

[Image changes back to Maxime Collado and then images flash through of employees working and then image reverts to Maxime Collado]

Advantageous for EPT compared to conventional spray drying technology are better functionality for the products, the flexibility of the platform, energy savings and finally better flavour retention. 

[Image changes to show an employee inspecting the sample in the pot and then images flash through of machinery]

We’ve searched globally for a partner to set up our first pilot plant. 

[Image changes to show an employee looking at a computer screen then the camera zooms in on the sample again]

We’ve choosen to come here to CSIRO because they were the only one able to provide the technical and analytical supports.

[Image changes to show Maxime Collado and then the camera pans along the machinery in the factory and images flash through of an employee operating a machine, Maxime Collado, Maxime Collado inspecting the samples of coffee and then the camera zooms in on the sample]

In collaboration with CSIRO and FIAL through the SME solution centre we’ve piloted EPT applications for high protein dairy and coffee products and we were able to confirm that coffee made with our technology retained more aroma than conventional spray drying does. 

[Camera zooms out to show Maxime Collado and another employee looking at a sample and then images flash through of Maxime Collado in the factory]

This means we’re able to make a soluble coffee powder which tastes the same as fresh roasted coffee. 

[Image changes to show Maxime Collado again]

The funding through FIAL means that we could develop new commercial prototypes and it gets new potential customers at the door.

[Image changes to show an employee working on a computer then the camera pans up to show the employee at his desk]

Overall the work showed that this technology offers real innovation opportunities for the food industry. 

[Image changes to show an employee walking into the Flavourtech building and then images flash through of employees working in the Flavourtech factory]

Our first commercial partner was Flavourtech based in regional New South Wales.  They’ve decided to license our technology for the coffee industries. 

[Image changes to show an employee pouring coffee beans into a hopper]

Partnering with global major company like Flavourtech gives us an access to the coffee and tea industries. The flexibility of the EPT is what is exciting for customers.

[Image changes back to show Maxime Collado and then images flash through of Maxime Collado with two other employees pouring samples and then the camera zooms in on the samples] 

We are able to imagine new ingredients for products such as probiotics, bioactives or flavour that could not be made on standard and conventional drying technologies. 

[Image changes to show Maxime Collado and then the image changes to show two employees operating a machine]

We wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help from CSIRO and their access to a world range of equipment and expertise in the food industry.

[Image changes to show Maxime Collado]

The food application we’ve explored so far is only the tip of the iceberg and there’s a lot more potential application that could go through this technologies.  Companies are welcome to come knock on our door to see how this technology could help them.

[CSIRO, FIAL and Australian Government logos appear with text: The SME Solution Centre, A collaboration between CSIRO and FIAL]

[Music plays and CSIRO logo appears with text: Big ideas start here www.csiro.au]

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Partners Clextral, Inovo and CSIRO

Key CSIRO resources for industry

Our $50m world-class food manufacturing research and development pilot plants in Werribee (Victoria) and, in partnership with the Queensland Government, in Brisbane (Queensland), are more than 3000 m2 in size and house a unique range of conventional and innovative processing technologies and equipment, providing secure and confidential operations for our clients.

We are world leaders in innovative food processing technologies such as high pressure processing, pulsed electric field, ultrasonics and cool plasma and developing applications for industry.

In Werribee, we have:

  • six self-contained 500 square metre registered food factory modules
  • a further two non-food grade modules
  • equipment fabrication and maintenance workshop
  • laboratory facilities for chemical, biochemical, physical and sensory analyses
  • storage areas for extended storage of samples and products.

Our Brisbane pilot plant includes:

  • five independent temperature controlled rooms
  • dedicated industrial-sized cold and freezer rooms for seafood, meat and horticulture
  • high hygiene cool room for fresh product handling
  • warm room for thermal operation or fermentation
  • food grade certification.

Our expertise, technologies and equipment for hire include:

  • separation and fractionation technologies including ultra filtration, fat fractionation, clarifiers and decanters
  • thermal processing including UHT processing, heat exchange technology and commercial scale overpressure retort
  • evaporation, spray drying and particle sizing technology
  • state-of-the-art pilot cheese manufacturing plant
  • fats, oils and emulsions processing technology including extraction, deodorisation and texturisation
  • emulsion technology including homogenisation and microfluidisation
  • packaging technologies including horizontal form-fill-seal modified atmosphere packing plant, aseptic packaging, tray packaging and vacuum/gas flush packaging
  • fillers, closer, ovens, coating system, mixers, bowl cutter, injector, smoking oven, grinding mills, jacketed scraped-surface kettle and more.

To discuss how our facilities could help your business innovate, contact

  • Mr Rod Smith

    Senior Engineer · Food and Nutrition

    Rod manages Werribee's food research and development pilot plant and has 22 years experience in technical management, quality control and product and process development.

    • Phone:
      • +61 3 9731 3208
    Mr Rod Smith

CSIRO's food innovation centre

Welcome to CSIRO's food innovation centre for industry: Find out how CSIRO's food innovation centre helps food and ingredient manufacturers

Show transcript

Welcome to CSIRO's food innovation centre

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Welcome to CSIRO’s food innovation centre]

[Images flash through of people selecting food from fridges and shelves in a supermarket]

Narrator: Consumer demand for healthy, convenient, new and safe food products is rising and market growth in the Asian region is booming.

More than ever manufacturing innovation is critical for the Australian food industry to capture these opportunities and be globally competitive.

[Image changes to show the outside of the CSIRO Food Innovation Centre Melbourne and then image changes to show employees looking at food samples of cheese and then the camera zooms in on a sample of cheese]

At our Food Innovation Centre we work with the food and beverage manufacturing industry to meet these opportunities and add value to their business.

[Images flash through of an employee looking at a sample, operating a computer, the computer screen, a heat shrink bag, a tube being filled with white liquid, an employee looking at a computer screen, the computer screen display, an employee filling a tube with bottles of juice and placing the tube inside a machine, a computer screen display and an employee emptying the tube]

We help companies innovate by creating next generation value added food products and ingredients, improving operating efficiencies, licensing ready to go technologies, making industry connections and adopting and developing new technologies and applications for safer, fresher, healthier and sustainably produced foods and more.

[Image changes to show an employee climbing up some stairs carrying a bag of maize polenta and then the camera shows employees watching a machine in use and then the camera zooms in on their faces]

In the last few years we’ve helped our clients create hundreds of millions of dollars in new food product and ingredient sales locally and in export markets.

[Image changes to show an employee operating the touch screen on a machine and then the image changes to show a machine with lots of tubes and the camera pans up the machine to the top]

This includes more than 25 new products in the retail market nationally.

[Image changes to show an employee operating a machine and then images flash through of different manufacturing machinery]

Companies are invited to use our manufacturing equipment to develop and launch new products into the market or collaborate with us strategically on breakthrough technologies.

[Image changes to show an outside view of the CSIRO facility in Brisbane and text appears: Brisbane]

[Image changes to show employees working with packaged meat and then the camera zooms in on a female writing on a clipboard, employees inspecting the meat, employees cutting a sample from the meat and an employee putting meat inside a machine]

Through our facilities in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney we have the most significant and extensive food innovation expertise available in Australia.

[Images flash through of an employee operating a machine]

Our pilot plants are unique facilities with a mix of conventional and emerging technologies supported by world class science.

[Image changes to show three female employees walking down a corridor and text appears: Sydney]

[Images flash through of an employee pouring juice, trying a sample, a computer screen display and a female employee operating machinery]

Our expertise in sensory, flavour, consumer science and food choices is unique helping companies develop new or redefine their existing products.  We help industry manage their food safety and product shelf life and meet food safety regulations in export markets.

[Image changes to show three employees inspecting a dough sample and then the camera zooms in on an employee pulling a sample from the dough and tasting it]

We’re also helping Australian food companies meet the rapidly growing demand in Asia for high value products.

[Image changes to show an employee operating a computer with two display screens and then the camera zooms in on one of the screen displays]

Our researchers help companies reformulate to reduce salt, sugar and fat and develop fortified products with functional health benefits while still meeting the taste preferences of consumers.

[Image changes to show an outside view of the CSIRO in Adelaide and then the image changes to show a male walking through the door and speaking to the receptionist and then the camera zooms in on the paper he is writing on]

We also work with manufacturers to substantiate food and ingredient health claims with expertise in lab scale analysis through to human nutrition trials.

[Images flash through of two people at computers, a person lying down, a computer screen display, a female pouring liquid and a female operating a computer and then the camera zooms in on the liquid being poured and the female operating the computer screen]

Whether you’re a small company with a novel idea or a large one looking to outsource key R and D services companies benefit every day from partnering with CSIRO.

[Camera zooms in on the computer screen and then the camera zooms in on the female employee]

It all starts with a conversation.

[Image changes and CSIRO logo and text appears: Big ideas start here, csiro.au/on]

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