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50 Years of Lesaffre Research and Development

Lesaffre is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of its Research and Development department. Research, innovation and co-development have always been at the heart of the Group’s strategy over the past 50 years.

50 years of success stories

Lesaffre looks back with great pride over its many success stories from these past 50 years. They include:

  • the choice of select yeast strains. Lesaffre managed to segment the markets by adapting its yeasts to the needs of its clients and marketing them around the world.
  • the development of instant dry yeast in 1973. The result of a cutting-edge industrial procedure, Saf-Instant notably allowed the Group to develop its export business with yeast of exceptional quality.
  • the development of bread-making ingredients such as Croustilis to prevent bread from blistering during baking, Gustal to reduce the salt content or Crème de Levain to guarantee greater consistency in sourdough taste and texture.

R&D also played a part in the diversification of Group business in the areas of health and nutrition and biotechnology through:

  • the increase in Springer yeast extracts and nucleotide content to improve taste in sauces, soups, snacks and more.
  • the introduction of active yeast Actisaf for use in cow feed. Optimal results on ruminant function, well-being and milk production led to its use in the production of other meat products, including pork, poultry and fish.
  • the development of a human probiotic. Thanks to a proprietary strain patented by Lesaffre, ibSium helps to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • the development of Cellux 2, a second-generation yeast that can ferment 5-carbon sugars in the production of ethanol fuel.

This fiftieth anniversary is also the moment to recall several key Lesaffre R&D milestones, such as the creation of the R&D bakery in 1969 with the hiring of the first baker-engineer or the first steps Lesaffre took in molecular genetics in 1988.

These major historic milestones allow us to take stock of the great strides made and the many challenges overcome. Lesaffre’s strength can also be seen in its dedication to passing on to young generations its expertise learned through both successes and setbacks.

Since 1965, Lesaffre has strived to develop its own R&D culture. The cutting-edge technical expertise acquired over the past five decades has contributed a great deal to the Group’s growth. The Lesaffre R&D staff have always prioritised the values of vision, determination, humility and perseverance.

The next 50 years…

Today, the Group is ramping up its innovation projects with clients, subsidiaries, universities as well as other future partnerships. As Lesaffre CEO Antoine Baule put it, “R&D is at the heart of our growth and innovation strategy and involves wide-ranging areas of expertise, such as genetic engineering, microbiology, analytical chemistry and fermentation. Today, to drive our scientific and technical platform, each area of expertise must go even further in the pursuit of new frontiers.”

Antoine Baule congratulates the whole R&D family for its expertise and human values. “I am so proud of our R&D teams!” he said.