Interest in innovation and research is something that, at Dacsa Group, we carry in our genes.
At Dacsa Group we are specialists in corn and rice milling and food solutions and, for more than 50 years, we have always worked hand in hand with our clients to help them develop the best products, based on our first class natural food ingredients.
In recent years we have made significant investments in technology and new research projects demonstrating our strong commitment to continue offering innovative solutions to meet the needs of our customers.
Today we speak with Mary Carmen Vidal, Group R & D Product Development Manager. Mary Carmen has a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the Central University of Venezuela and worked as a research professor at the Simón Rodríguez National Experimental University. She has been working at the Dacsa Group since 2005.
The need to control the raw material from transgenic and GMO analysis were the first steps taken in the field of innovation by Mary Carmen: ‘All these analyses were carried out in our own facilities, increasing our customer´s trust, ‘guaranteeing absolute control of the raw material and the finished product, as well as reducing the response time and enhancing our reaction capacity.’ Having an internal laboratory for genetic analysis allowed us to perform studies at a molecular level in cereals together with prestigious research centers.
The Dacsa Group specialization in corn and rice milling has led it to work closely with clients designing customized natural products, with specific characteristics depending on the application of the final product.
This specialization has required us to open other research areas in order to validate our allergen-free natural ingredients in specific applications that enable us to provide additional solutions for customers. To make this possible, many studies have been carried out with prestigious universities and research institutes, such as IATA and the AINIA technology center.
Some of the innovation activities at Dacsa Group are dedicated to the recovery of by-products from the milling of cereals. ‘We seek to transform them into products with greater added value, achieving an improvement in cost efficiency for our customers’. With this objective, over several years, research projects have been started by companies and research centers such as CSIC, ITENE or AIMPLAS.
‘With the arrival of Molendum in 2014, we have strengthened our capacity for innovation, and we can now offer a wide range of ingredients and food solutions with very diverse raw materials ranging from cereals, legumes and ancestral grains. Now we can even combine these raw materials to improve the nutritional profile and develop products tailored to our customers’ says Mary Carmen. Molendum Ingredients is a company belonging to Dacsa Group specializing in the production of natural food ingredients without allergens.
Before the creation of Molendum, customers came looking for food ingredients with specific qualities. Nowadays, these food ingredients are developed to help them to improve the products that are already being manufactured, and also with the creation of new ones.
All this has been thanks to the effort of the innovation department, for its knowledge about the physical and nutritional characteristics of raw materials and the appropriate technologies for their
transformation. All this has allowed us to develop the best ingredients and the best food solutions for different sectors such as breakfast cereals, snacks and brewery, and also access others such as bakery, pastry, batter and baby foods.
The right combination of cereals, legumes and ancestral grains provide an adequate nutritional balance, specifically amino acids. This is why Mary Carmen also highlights that: ‘Thanks to the ingredients developed at Molendum, we are able to add value to any finished product and even address new trends such as alternative products to animal protein. ‘
As a result of knowing the functionality of our ingredients, we started to develop better nutritional gluten-free products, where wholemeal flours predominate over starches, with the least amount of additives possible to make the products healthier. This is a worldwide trend that will increase and at Dacsa Group we have decided to continue improving the quality of products destined for the final consumer.
This evolution of innovation at Dacsa Group has required constant updating on food trends and the launching of new products. For this reason, we are in permanent contact with companies and research centers, suppliers of technology raw materials, and we also have a very powerful search platform specializing in the food and beverage sector.
The various innovation challenges of the Dacsa Group are derived from all of these key partnerships, which we address based on prioritization criteria and focusing on our customers.