Sensoryeffects Cereal Systems
Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership
The Food Processing Center has allowed us to serve our customers by utilizing their coating and extrusion options on a small scale in comparison to our larger systems in the plant. Without the Food Processing Center we could not be where we are today!
Theresa Boothe, PhD,
Technical Services Director
Expanding Product Development CapabilitiesSensoryEffects® Cereal Systems of Lincoln, Nebraska is a specialty cereal manufacturer of multi-grain and multi inclusion-based products. Product offerings include ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, snacks, and cereal-based ingredients. The company’s products are manufactured in an organic, kosher and SQF Level III certified facility. Additional capabilities include the ability to process products that are all natural, gluten-free, allergen controlled and identity preserved (non-GMO). Client services include support for research and development of customized products, documentation of each stage of production, an allergen control program, and maintenance of product certifications (e.g. Kosher). The Lincoln facility employs approximately 170 people.
SituationSensoryEffects® Cereal Systems serves a niche market segment as a provider of all natural and organic cereals and related grain-based ingredients. The growing demand for such products has led to increased sales and customers. Contract manufacturing is a key service provided by SensoryEffects® Cereal Systems. A number of the company’s contract manufacturing customers require assistance with product development. While the company is able to provide product development services in-house, the lack of pilot scale processing equipment necessitates the temporary closure of a production line to use for research and development activities. Such a move cuts into available processing time, reducing output and revenue.
SolutionSensoryEffects® Cereal Systems engaged the technical services of The Food Processing Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a partner of NIST MEP's Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership, to facilitate extrusion-based product development projects. They worked to devise and test new extruded products and coatings for such products. Over the course of the last year, several new products have been developed and successfully introduced to the marketplace. One particular project involved the development of a line of extruded baby food products. The Food Processing Center was able to devise a screw configuration and refine processing conditions for the product to meet the quality parameters of the client. In another instance, The Center assisted with the development of a shelf-stable yogurt coating for a flaked cereal product. In addition to product development assistance, SensoryEffects has also benefitted from a connection with another University group that shares the same building on campus; the Food Allergy Research & Resource Program. FARRP conducts all of the company’s allergen testing.
- Commercialized 7 new products
- Several million dollar sales increase
- Estimated cost savings of $100,000