A group from Asia’s largest dairy company toured Lincoln University recently to see some of the ongoing collaborative work between the two organisations.
Among the visitors were five consumers of the Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co., Ltd (Yili), who had won a competition to visit New Zealand and gain a first-hand understanding of how dairy products can be traced from paddock to plate.
Lincoln University works closely with Yili to carry out research across all facets of dairy, from production to final consumer products.
The group visited the Lincoln University Demonstration Dairy Farm and toured campus, as well as the university’s food labs.
Some of the consumers streamed the event live via a social media app so they could share the experience with hundreds of thousands of Yili consumers in China.
Yili Innovation Centre Oceania R&D Manager Dr Philip Wescombe said it was important to allow the consumers to learn more about the science and technology involved in manufacturing and developing new dairy products.
“Many consumers do not realise the significant work that goes on behind the scenes to develop healthy, safe and nutritious products.
“The visit to Lincoln was an opportunity to showcase the ongoing collaboration between Yili and the university and further emphasise the important nutritional role that dairy has for maintaining health in the general population.”
Dr Wescombe said Yili’s vision was “to be the most trustworthy global healthy food provider”.
“To help us achieve this, we have established international innovation centres in two of the most respected dairy exporting nations, New Zealand and the Netherlands. The centres work closely with research institutions that have expertise in dairy production, food safety and processing.
“After developing Oceania Dairy Limited, Yili’s first green fields production site at Glenavy in the South Island of New Zealand, it made a lot of sense to partner with Lincoln University.
“Lincoln is well placed to continue to apply research excellence alongside the industrial and market expertise within Yili.”
As the demand for dairy in China continues to grow, Dr Westcombe said developing new, innovative products is a constant challenge “and one that the food and dairy science experts at Lincoln will be instrumental in helping us to address”.
Source: Lincoln University