Nexus - Palsgaard's R&D department
Nexus – the heart of new emulsifiers
"At Palsgaard, we know from experience that any creative and efficient innovative environment must have wide margins and plenty of opportunities for thinking out of the box, which is why Palsgaard's research and development is conducted in an independent company, Nexus A/S. However, this does not and must never justify disregarding customers' needs, ignoring market trends or, worse still, failing to track scientific progress, the effect of which is often to accelerate innovation. Our product development must of course take place within the context of food safety, responsibility and sound ethical practices."
Director, Nexus A/S
Palsgaard invented the world's first industrial emulsifier almost a century ago - and we haven't stopped inventing since.
At Palsgaard, we do more than simply adjust the formulation of existing emulsifiers to meet the needs of our customers. We also invent new ones - from scratch - all to the benefit of our customers.
Nexus is an independent company engaged in research and development work for Palsgaard. A crucial pioneering tool, Nexus consists of several laboratories and functions, serving us with innovation, quality control, a physical and chemical analysis service, plus the documentation of additives and foodstuff. And, of course, by choosing Palsgaard, you also have access to the wealth of Nexus knowledge.
Established in 1949, Nexus is owned by The Schou Foundation, whose integral values safeguard the impartiality of the research. Today, one in seven Palsgaard employees work in this arena, solving specific problems or developing innovative products as requested by our customers.
Alternatively the research may spring from curiosity - and, more often than not, crazy ideas lead to revolutionary discoveries.
How we work
R&D projects often involve both Nexus and Palsgaard staff, with dedicated groups formed to match the exact needs of each specific assignment, from the customer's requirements and demands to how processing resources are best utilised, as well as any environmental impacts. Projects may also focus on the development and marketing of new or improved products and production processes.
What we do
The work at Nexus is focused on interface active ingredients, their production processes and basic applications. 'Interface active ingredients' means emulsifiers and stabilizers based on natural raw materials - including lipids - which, through chemical modification and/or physical separation, develop a structure with both hydrophilic (water-oriented) and lipophilic (oil-oriented) sub-components present simultaneously. It is this anatomy that decides the interface active attributes of the ingredient.
This is the process that leads to the development of new ingredients; the new characteristics that the emulsifiers can give, for example, to the shape of multi-phase systems in food. The interface active ingredients influence the microscopic structure through physical interaction, which is then displayed through the macroscopic qualities.
Nexus works with analytical chemistry and quality control, with modern, well-equipped laboratories at its disposal. Activity also takes the form of general quality control in relation to Palsgaard's own ingredient production.
Currently employing around 40 people, mainly with a chemical or chemical-technical background, Nexus' R&D work is carried out in both standard and special laboratories, supplied with equipment in pilot scale to product and process development.
Nexus is divided into 7 separate sections:
Analysis laboratory: (Chemical and microbiological analyses)
The laboratory features a series of analysis techniques, utilised by Palsgaard. The work represents qualitative and quantitative evaluations established using modern methodology, as well as the continuous improvement and development of techniques, analyses and methods.
Quality control: (Physical analyses and QC work)
Working with a range of methods to physically characterize foodstuff and ingredients, the laboratory includes equipment for the preparation of trials for test and control. This involves rheological and similar techniques. Powders, materials and liquid colours can also be analysed here.
Synthesis and development laboratory:
(Preparative synthesises, development and interface active
A modern synthesis laboratory filled with the equipment needed to develop interface active ingredients and materials.
Pilot synthesis laboratory: (Process technique and upscaling)
Home to a series of pilot-scale equipment, this laboratory makes it possible to create interface active material on a semi-industrial scale. A chemical reactor plant and several different separation techniques, including short way distillation columns, are also available.
Technology laboratory: (Physical product adaption)
The laboratory works with the physical manufacture of ingredients on a semi-industrial scale. Among other things, the laboratory features equipment and techniques for spray crystallization and drying, extrusion, grinding, emulsification etc.
Documentation: (Service related to legality of additives, foodstuffs and emulsifiers)
Nexus is home to our documentation department, providing us with raw material and product certification, including European and international regulations and standards. Up to date on this legislation as well as technical and CSR information from suppliers and customers, the department handles all products and raw materials produced and used by Palsgaard.
Library: (Service in relation to specialist literature)
The library offers a wealth of monographs and reference work in addition to housing a collection of magazines in the company's interest areas. Subscriptions to services from international knowledge databases within chemistry and marketing are also held.