Breakthrough innovation for spreads

Unilever has launched the biggest technological innovation that the spreads market has seen for more than 60 years with tastier, healthier products.

Innovative technology

Child reaching for a sandwich, made using Flora spread

Using proprietary technology developed by Unilever R&D in Vlaardingen, Netherlands, called Cool Blending technology, the secret to this breakthrough lies in the way we can deal with hard fats – essential ingredients that add structure to margarine.

Less saturate fat

The Cool Blending technology crystallises hard (or saturated) fats in a unique way, creating better crystal structures than with conventional technology. This allows us to reduce the amount of saturated fat that we use in the product significantly, whilst the margarine making process becomes a very simple blending operation of healthy oils, a dairy phase and only a very small amount of crystallised vegetable fat. In fact, we are able to produce margarines of superior quality – in terms of taste and texture – with up to 80% less saturated fat than butter.

Reduced environmental impact

Oils and fats are the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the manufacture of spreads and through this method we will reduce the amount of fat we need to use in margarine production by almost a quarter. By using fewer ingredients, we make a much smaller agricultural impact and in turn reduce our carbon footprint.

Re-launch of Flora/Becel

As the benefits of this technology fit well with the positioning of Unilever’s Heart Health brands such as Flora/Becel, the launch of the new recipe has been timed to coincide with the re-launch of Flora spreads which will be rolled-out across Europe during 2012.

A platform for future innovations

The Cool Blending technology was tested on a new production line in Poland and what started as a small-scale trial is set to have a big impact. It will both improve the nutritional credentials of our Heart Health spreads and also create a platform for future innovations across all brands.

Investment in production facilities

With the planned transition of 125,000 tonnes of margarine to our new Cool blending–fuelled recipe, we’re investing €35 million to transform six production lines at three European factories: Purfleet in the UK, Pratau in Germany and Katowice in Poland.

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