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Pinnacle, Rutgers team up with pilot plant

Pinnacle Foods announced Tuesday it has opened a research & development pilot plant at Rutgers University.The plant will support the Parsippany-based company’s effort to “Reinvigorate Iconic Brands” and support recognizable names such as Duncan Hines, Vlasic, Wish-Bone and more as Pinnacle increases their R&D capacity and supports their brand renovation.

“We have been on a continuous mission to strengthen our R&D capabilities,” Steve Gunther, senior vice president of R&D at Pinnacle, said in a news release. “The pilot plant is one more step in increasing our technical rigor. We’ll be able to execute experimental designs across our brands, studying various ingredient, process and package interactions without impacting our manufacturing facilities.”  

The plant is located at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center – North and is the first university-affiliated pilot plant for Pinnacle. It will allow the company to replicate existing production lines at its Grocery Division plants and conduct consumer testing. Further, Pinnacle will be able to evaluate process changes and equipment outside of its regular plants.

“This is a great opportunity for Rutgers University’s Food Innovation Center – North and students; we are very excited to partner with Pinnacle as it reinvigorates iconic brands,” Dr. Peggy Brennan, associate vice president of economic development, Rutgers University, said in the release.

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