Kitchen Lab
Food Prototyping at NOI
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What is cooking: the news straight out of our Kitchen Lab.

Who is coming in, and who is going out? Who is still testing? Or even celebrating their results? Which products amaze us - and you? See what others are up to in our prototyping lab. Find out what drives food researchers. Discover how food innovation is developed and come up with your ideas. Or, finally, turn your idea into reality.


Pizza toppings with a twist

Fresh pizza, baked by a robot, not a pizzaiolo. Behind Cibo Labs’ visionary concept lies state-of-the-art automation and packaging technology, not to mention countless recipe and baking trials during the development of four brand-new pizza toppings. Three approaches were tested in the Kitchen Lab: mozzarella gel, silicone moulds and sausage casings. Aiming to combine sensor technology, durability, and machine usability, these tests furthered Cibo Labs’ ultimate goal of transitioning from prototype to industrial application.

More fruit, and a guaranteed shelf life 

Less sugar – in South Tyrol, this health trend does not stop at direct sales. To take just one classic example, we can consider farm-produced fruit spreads: How can we increase the fruit content while guaranteeing shelf life and product stability? This was the central question of a pioneering case study conducted by the South Tyrolean Farmers’ Association in our Kitchen Lab, in collaboration with the Partschillerhof farm. The results will benefit around 2,000 farms.

How to make sustainable use of leftovers

Anyone working in the catering sector is familiar with the problem: what to do with leftover bread, parmesan, bacon and so on? Bolzano-based catering company Condito turns them into new, healthy foods. The company has developed a range of ten leftover-based fermented products in the Kitchen Lab, including garum, miso, shoyu, vinegar and fermented vegetable and meat products. From optimising the fermentation process to analysing shelf-life and assessing legal aspects, the support provided by the Kitchen Lab gave structure to this product development venture.

From hot and fiery to fruity and sweet

Seibstock Manufaktur’s goal was to create a base recipe for a chili salsa dip. Together with us, they developed a balanced flavour profile using 14 ingredients, including dates and coffee, for one of their clients. The project involved food specialists from the Kitchen Lab, a researcher from the Laimburg Research Centre and a focus group who tasted each recipe as it was being developed. The result? Three market-ready products for snacks, dips, cooking and seasoning.

Boost for high quality products

Innovation is not always about creating something entirely new; it can also be about improving and enhancing time-honoured and traditional products to make them better and safer. A current illustration of this comes from a fruitful collaboration between our Kitchen Lab, the South Tyrolean Farmers’ Association and the Culinary Craft Academy of BASIS Vinschgau Val Venosta. As part of a series of Know-How Transfer Events, food producers have the opportunity to discover firsthand how a cutting-edge vacuum cooker, such as the Roboqbo, can revolutionise the manufacturing process for products like fruit jams or pesto. Curious? We will tell you more about it in our latest article (available in German and Italian).

3D printing technology in the food sector

Even the craft sector is increasingly discovering the advantages of standardised production processes. But do investments in expensive technologies pay off or should certain methods - like the custom-made cake decorating - still be done by hand? Thanks to the expertise of our prototyping labs, we are in a position to help companies find the answers to precisely this kind of question - in this case, the producer of bakery goods Mein Beck. In our work together with Maker Space during preliminary trials held in our Kitchen Lab, we defined and tested suitable print files and nozzle diameters. And in the very near future, an optimal proposal for a 3D printing technology to produce cake decorations will be available.

When a star chef meets a master's student

Sustainability, local resources, innovation. The future of gastronomy starts at the Kitchen Lab. Michelin-starred chef Terry Giacomello and Emma Sicher, a master's degree student in Eco-Social Design at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, are working to explore - and experiment with - the possibilities of currently little-used ingredients. An interdisciplinary collaboration combining molecular cuisine, fermentation, and eco-social design.

New Bachelor’s Degree: Enogastronomy in Mountain Areas

The Free University of Bozen-Bolzano has introduced a new bachelor's degree course: 'Enogastronomy in Mountain Areas.’ Developed together with the three-Michelin-starred chef Norbert Niederkofler, this programme provides students with the interdisciplinary skills required to work in the field of healthy, sustainable mountain enogastronomy, to respect biodiversity, build on local traditions and products, and focus on food innovation in a circular economy. Some of the modules will be held in the food laboratories at NOI as well as in our Kitchen Lab. This course adds another important facet to our research and technology transfer activities in the food sector.

Food-prototyping network

Innovation in the food sector requires many different skills - and our Kitchen Lab brings them together. Currently, the Seibstock manufactory is using our food prototyping lab to develop a basic recipe for a chilli salsa dip. Who is involved in this project? A scientist, in this case Elisa Vanzo, Sensory Science Group leader at the , our team from the Tech Transfer Food, who provided support and advice throughout the entire process, and a focus group, who tested and evaluated the final recipe.Laimburg Research Centre, our team Tech Transfer Food, who provided support and advice throughout the entire process, and a focus group, who tested and evaluated the final recipe.

Alternatives to animal proteins

Around the world, research and science are looking for emission-free and sustainable alternatives to animal protein. In February, our Kitchen Lab demonstrated the immense potential of industrial applications already in existence, using the innovative protein isolates from the NOI-company HiWeiss. For two days, the team reconstructed and tasted a variety of recipes of benchmark industrial products – ranging from ice cream to Schnitzel - using soy proteins. And the results are clear: The future of the food industry is here, and it tastes great - with 100% traceability and sustainability in both production and origins of protein sources.

A visit from a master confectioner

Encouraging innovation in trades: For two days during our NOI Info Days for master confectioners, our innovation hub hosted a group of young people who will be making our future very sweet indeed. In our Kitchen Lab, they learned how to make fruit puree preserves from ripe summer fruits in the most natural way possible, while the experts from our partners Free University of Bozen-Bolzano and Laimburg Research Centre provided them with valuable insight into research in the field of food technology. A thoroughly successful training module, which we developed together with South Tyrol’s Master Craftsman Training Centre, lvh.apa and the Emma Hellenstainer Provincial School for Hospitality and Food Trades.

Bake-stable fillings

The “Bake-stable fillings” workshop provided students both theoretical knowledge and practical application on the topic of innovative hydrocolloids. Which key ingredients and stabilisers can be used to make bake-stable fillings? What must we bear in mind when making hot, cold, sweet or savoury fillings? How are recipes developed, and what do they taste like? Together with experts from Rettenmaier & Söhne, we answered these questions in the Kitchen Lab.

Live Talk: The relationship between food and health

“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.” A visionary of antiquity, Hippocrates’ words are now more pertinent than ever.  The consumers of today are paying increasingly close attention to what they eat, and place immense value on healthy food which is both nutritious and sustainable. Food companies now have to meet higher expectations – and, with greater responsibility, the opportunity to develop new products also increases. We talked about this topic with a number of experts in our live talk in the Kitchen Lab during our discussion on the relationship between food and health which, in the era of Covid-19, has become increasingly significant.

LUNA - The Long Night of Research 2019

Bolzano’s Long Night of Research was held in 13 different stations and featured over 100 different projects – 30 of them in the NOI Techpark alone. Young foodies met up in the Kitchen Lab to make gumdrops from beetroots, carrots and apples, and visitors were treated to a new highlight event: A sensory wall, where they had to guess which foods were hidden by the smell alone. This engaging experiment shows us just how developed our senses are. Science is a subject which engages all of our faculties - particularly when you’re conducting your experiments under the moonlight during the Long Night of Research. LUNA sends its best regards.