Driving innovation with successful regionally-tailored solutions relies on a deep understanding of the regional customers and their consumers. One way to get this understanding is to invite them into our ‘house’. By doing so, we can share our world with them and understand theirs better. The Novozymes Innovation & Technology Center, our new customer center in Istanbul, is a key part of this approach in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Opened on April 12th, 2018, the center is the most advanced and locally-focused in the region.

Emerging markets such as the MEA region have the greatest untapped potential for increasing the reach and associated impact of sustainable solutions. That’s why we work closely with our customers in these markets to develop solutions tailored to their regional needs, trends and production processes.

Water and arable land are scarcer in MEA than in any other region. Ensuring a sustainable supply of quality food and beverages to a growing population despite these scarce resources is one of the most pressing challenges the region faces. Enzymes are nature’s own toolkit for making more with less, so regionally-tailored enzymatic solutions have huge potential to help solve this challenge.

Occupying 700 square meters, the center features state-of-the-art, locally-relevant equipment, including an industrial scale flatbread line. With our customers, we’ll accelerate innovation through on-site baking trials, flour analyses and sensorial evaluations. Over time, the center will also feature content relevant to other industries, including starch processing, brewing, dairy and household care. With the Novozymes Innovation and Technology Center we’re investing to support innovation that will lead to solutions tailored to local needs.

Flatbreads – a major source of food waste in the MEA region

Keeping bread fresh for longer is one way that enzymes can help ensure a sustainable supply of quality food in the MEA region. Although they are net cereal importers, Middle East countries – along with Pakistan and Iran – waste considerable amounts of bread. In some households, wastage is as high as 20% . Most meals are served with piles of flatbread, much of which goes uneaten. Flatbreads very quickly lose freshness and go dry, cracking when folded. So uneaten bread is discarded rather than saved for the next meal. With the cost of bread in the region rising, this wastage also puts a burden on household and government finances.