Business 02.12.21

Sheffield City Council Leader and Chief Executive visit National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering

Sheffield Hallam University welcomed Council Leader Terry Fox and Chief Executive Kate Josephs to the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering (NCEFE)

Based at Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, the NCEFE specialises in developing materials and engineering solutions to meet the challenges facing the food and drink sector – including delivering more environmentally sustainable and efficient food processing systems.

As part of the visit, marking the second-year anniversary since the opening in late 2019, Cllr Fox and Ms Josephs met the centre’s director Martin Howarth who took them on a short tour and highlighted a number of key projects.

This included new rice milling systems by Koolmill who are working with NCEFE to transform the future of rice and grain milling by optimising processes and reducing waste.

By 2050, the number of people who eat rice daily will rise to six billion and using current milling technology, production will have to increase by 70% to deliver the required quantity of food into the supply chain.

Annually, enough rice to feed 600 million people is lost from paddy to plate.

Koolmill machinery provides a simplified, cold process which works gently with rice to deliver more food from existing harvests. The technology uses up to 90% less power but increases the amount of food produced by over 20%.

Martin Howarth, Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering, said: “It has been a pleasure to show Terry and Kate the valuable and innovative work we are doing at NCEFE and celebrate all we have achieved since opening two years ago.

“As a centre, we are uniquely placed to respond to the UK food industry’s new and urgent demand for flexible engineering and processing solutions to increase speed, agility and volume of production but also create a sustainable food future for all.”

Councillor Terry Fox, Leader of Sheffield City Council said: “It’s been fantastic to see the ground-breaking research being done at the Food Engineering Research Centre and to meet the engineers who have chosen Sheffield as the base for their work. Sustainability is a key priority for the Council and influences decisions across all of our services.

“This centre shows how small changes can make a big difference in reducing waste and protecting our climate, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the centre grows from here.”

Kate Josephs, Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council said: “Sheffield is known internationally as a hub of innovation and engineering, and the work at this centre demonstrates the expertise and skills we have in the city.

“In two short years the centre has gone from strength-to-strength, and it’s been fascinating to see their technology in practice. It’s a great addition to Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, which is home to a wealth of pioneering research that we can all be proud of.”

Sheffield City Councillors Mazher Iqbal and Mary Lea, who both represent Darnall Ward, were also part of the visit to the Centre.