The Nexus Of Emulsifier Innovation

The Nexus of emulsifier innovation

Nexus research & development help to develop and improve emulsifiers, and makes the benefits of vegetable based emulsifiers more widely applicable, bringing new capabilities and possibilities to the food ingredients industry as well as other industries who can benefit from the safe product profiles of vegetable based emulsifiers.

Established in 1949, Nexus is owned by The Schou Foundation, whose integral values safeguard the impartiality of the research. There is, in fact, a significant degree of scientific freedom in this innovative company. Research may spring from pure curiosity - acknowledging that, more often than not, crazy ideas can lead to revolutionary discoveries. 

"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. That doesn't mean we ignore customers' needs or market trends, or fail to track scientific progress. But it opens the door to innovations that can change things in ways we might otherwise not have imagined. And, of course, it all takes place within the context of food safety, responsibility and sound ethical practices."

A broad palette of expertise

Nexus works with interface-active ingredients, their production processes and basic applications. "Interface-active ingredients" are emulsifiers and stabilisers 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) moieties present simultaneously. It is this structure that decides the interface-active properties of the ingredient.

Nexus activities leads to the development of new or improved ingredients from which multi-phase systems like food can benefit. The interface-active ingredients interact with the different components of the food and thus they influence the microscopic structure through physical interaction, which is then displayed through 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 ingredients production.

Currently employing around 40 people, mainly with a chemical or chemical-technical background, Nexus' R&D work is carried out in modern laboratories, including pilot plant facilities for upscaling and process development.

Nexus is divided into seven separate sections:

Analysis laboratory

The laboratory features a series of analysis techniques utilized 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

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 laboratory

A modern synthesis laboratory adequately equipped with modern technologies and lab equipment to develop interface active ingredients and materials.

Pilot synthesis plant

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-path distillation columns, are also available.

Technology laboratory

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.

Physical and interface chemistry laboratory

The laboratory study physiochemical properties and mechanisms of interface systems like emulsions, dispersions and foams. The laboratory is equipped with facilities for a number of different techniques within interface chemistry and physics.

Library and information services

The on-site library is well equipped with a representative collection of monographs and periodicals covering the fields of interest for Nexus and Palsgaard. Furthermore, the library has access to a number of international special databases.