The College of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Loughry Campus supports small and medium-sized businesses innovate through the Invest Northern Ireland Innovation Voucher programme.
Through a partnership approach, companies access support, specialist knowledge and practical skills required to help promote innovation, develop new products and systems to assist their business to grow.
Sardinian-born Davide Tani has established ‘Velo Cheese’, an artisan cheese company, hand crafting fresh Italian mozzarella, tracciatella, camorza and maple wood smoked camorza.
He joins the small group of Northern Ireland artisan cheese producers which include Ballylisk of Armagh, Mike’s Fancy Cheese, Newtownards, Dart Mountain, Dungiven, and Kearney Blue, Castlereagh.
Davide recently received an Invest NI Innovation Voucher and selected CAFRE as his knowledge provider partner.
With the guidance of Dairy Technologist Gary Andrews at CAFRE, Davide used his voucher to develop his cheeses.
This involved ingredient selection, recipe development, shelf life determination and assessment and the development of a food safety plan.
This product development process helped Davide to assess whether the product concept was feasible before commercialisation.
CAFRE has a fantastic range of equipment and facilities to advance innovation projects to help businesses compete more efficiently.
When explaining why he decided to develop these cheese products, Davide states: “My decision to make my own mozzarella is the outcome of a craving for fresh (just made) Italian cheeses.
“I was also impressed by the quality of milk in Northern Ireland and was excited to be part of the evolving artisan food movement.
“I import the rennet directly from Italy and use this to separate milk into solid curds and liquid whey for cheese production.”
For more information about how Dairy Technologists based at Loughry Campus can help you develop your product idea or further develop an existing product, please contact the team on 0300 200 7846 or email Loughry.FoodTechnology@daera-ni.gov.uk
The Innovation Voucher programme is active across CAFRE’s portfolio of agriculture, food, horticulture and equine.
n Applications to the current Invest NI Innovation Voucher call close tomorrow (Friday, February 5), with further calls expected to take place throughout the year.
n Further information and access to the online application form is available at www.investni.com/innovation
n If you would like to discuss a potential project, or have any queries relating to CAFRE’s role with the Innovation Voucher applications and project delivery, please contact Christine.Haydock@daera-ni.gov.uk
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