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Case Study - Yeo Valley

Innovative research with industry impact


Industry collaboration through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme has enabled researchers from Reading's Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences to boost their team's academic impact while contributing to global food sustainability.

Professor Keshavan Niranjan and Professor Colette Fagan are both leading experts in the field of food science, with their combined expertise in food engineering, processing and analysis offering a great deal of valuable potential transferability to the commercial sector.



Having both previously been involved in successful commercial collaborations through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme, both Colette and Niranjan were keen to participate in a new project with the UK's leading organic yoghurt manufacturer, Yeo Valley.

The Yeo Valley team approached Reading to access its specialist knowledge and state-of-the-art processing facilities through a KTP, as they wanted to optimise the use of their raw ingredients to maximise both the efficiency and sustainability of the yoghurt-making process.



With support from Reading's Knowledge Transfer Centre and a dedicated KTP Associate, Niranjan and Colette established an effective three-way partnership through which they could supply research-informed expertise to inform the development of the project.

Together, they are applying Niranjan's understanding of the structure formation in yoghurt and other dairy protein systems, along with Colette's experience developing new food processing approaches and analytical tools, to revolutionise Yeo Valley's processes.



Within a few months after the start of the project, Niranjan and Colette saw significant benefits in return for their expertise. Just as their involvement in a previous KTP with the hugely successful baby food manufacturer Ella’s Kitchen provided them with valuable commercial case studies to incorporate into their teaching, research and outreach activities, their collaboration with Yeo Valley is already offering new student placement opportunities and teaching material while also helping to give their own research a competitive edge.

Meanwhile, Yeo Valley has seen significant improvements in the efficiency of their yoghurt manufacturing process, which is translating into increased environmental sustainability, meaning that the mutual benefits of the collaboration will extend for generations to come.

"A KTP gives you the best chance to undertake innovative work and see it applied in practice, all within a relatively short space of time!" - Professor Colette Fagan