First we find out what our customers want,
and then we develop exactly the right ingredients for them.

The Stern-Wywiol Gruppe provides innovative solutions precisely configured to meet customers’ needs. This business model requires an extremely high level of expertise and extensive knowledge. It also demands the passion to pursue new developments, and improve on innovations until they are ready for daily use. In our Ahrensburg Technology Centre we have created the ideal conditions to do this.

Here, experts from our twelve specialist ingredient companies work together under one roof. Their close proximity and collegial relationships form the basis for the good results we achieve. Get to know us and our Technology Centre in person – we invite you to take a tour of our laboratories. Visit us, and talk to our experts about your ideas and wishes.

Flavourings and Sensory Laboratory

"Flavourings are an indispensable part of the flavour profile of modern foods. In our creation lab, we compose individual flavourings for products of every kind that meet our customers’ most exacting requirements."
Anne Kathrin Blümke, Product Development Flavourings

In our Flavourings and Sensory Laboratory we develop flavourings for confectionery, baked goods, dairy products, deli foods and beverages, individually adapted to the specific requirements of each product in terms of manufacturing processes, transportation, storage and shelf-life. Over and over, our innovative product developers bring out surprising new taste creations. These distinguish customers’ products from their competitors without adding unnecessary cost. With our numerous pilot plants and the latest equipment, we can observe the new flavourings under industrial conditions, for example by means of stress testing in our UHT system, or baking tests.

Sensory analysis is an indispensable part of product development. Our lab offers the ideal external test conditions for this with different light sources for warm, cold and red light. Modern sensory cabins ensure individual results.

Dairy and Ice Cream Pilot Facility

"We give dairy and ice cream products an individual look and feel, just like consumers expect from brand-name products. We adjust the texture, taste and appearance using systems with many different ingredients that have functional synergies."
Thies J. Meier, Director Research & Development Dairy, Ice Cream and Deli Foods

In our Dairy and Ice Cream Pilot Facilities we develop custom stabiliser systems using the latest equipment, including a UHT tube heat exchanger for yogurt and pudding, a UHT system for high-viscosity foods like melted cheese, a whipping machine for mousse, several emulsifying machines with direct and indirect heating for cream cheese, high-pressure homogenisers and an ice-cream freezer. Our specialists transfer the trial results obtained in our pilot facilities to customers’ large-scale plants.

Bakery Pilot Facility

"Individual convenience baking ingredients are more and more important for the efficient production of baked woods. We have a very well-equipped Bakery Pilot Facility which lets us reproduce almost any baked product in the world. With it, we can find a customer-specific solution to any challenge."
Michael Strotmann, Applications Technology, Bread/Rolls

Our Baking and Confectionary Pilot Facility has a complete suite of modern equipment and machines for the production of fresh, chilled, and frozen baked goods of all kinds. One of our core abilities in targeted product development is the emulation of production processes in different countries. In our rheology lab, we run rheological, chemical and biochemical tests of flours and raw materials.

Deli Foods Pilot Facility

"Consumers have high expectations for the quality and variety of deli foods. Meanwhile, manufacturers are under pressure to streamline their production methods. To meet both sets of demands, in our Deli Foods Pilot Facility we develop ingredient complexes for ready meals, soups, sauces, ketchups, mayonnaise and dressings."
Rolf Bialek, Applications Technology, Deli Foods

Our Deli Pilot Facility is equipped with modern machinery and production lines for the manufacture of many deli specialties – mixing and emulsifying machines for mayonnaises and sauces, autoclaves for sterilised instant foods, tube heat exchangers with high-pressure homogenisers for UHT sauces and soups, and much more. Our sister company Hydrosol deploys its long experience with recipes, process technology and raw material interactions to create custom stabilising and texture systems, so that both taste and texture are right. Some of the highlights of this work are hydrocolloidal filling aids for instant foods, functional systems for deli salads and dressings, and our hydrocolloid dried egg compounds for the mayonnaise industry.

Flour and Rheology Laboratory

"In our analytical baking lab we find new approaches for flour improvement. With a complete flour analysis we determine key indicators and rheological properties, and investigate baking behaviour."
Olaf Gerken, Director Baking Laboratory

Every year, 400 million tonnes of wheat are turned into bread, biscuits and pasta. But grain varies greatly in quality. We help give flour consistently good baking performance, and in many cases enrich it with vitamins and minerals. We investigate grain products with the latest generation equipment. Our experts use the results to make directly actionable production recommendations to customers in over 100 countries.

Vitamin and Micronutrient Laboratory

“It takes a team of experienced specialists to create and application-test vitamin premixes and mineral mixes for basic foods and other products like baby food, cereals, beverages, dairy products and nutritional supplements.”
Sonja Postel, Product Development, Vitamins and Minerals

In the development of vitamin mixes, we take into account both customer wishes and technical aspects, such as type of preparation, nutritional aspects and the bioavailability of vitamin and mineral compounds.

We’ve built up an extensive knowledge of active and carrier ingredients, food law, nutritional science and food technology. We test the enrichment of new products with vitamins and minerals, and work up recommendations for cost-effective premixes. Compounding different vitamins, minerals, trace elements and amino acids is its own discipline, and requires a high level of expertise. We have built a special pharmaceutical quality premix plant for this purpose.

Meat Pilot Facility

"Our customers want to make top quality meat and sausage products at affordable prices. We develop functional systems focused on this need. Our solutions for preserving freshness and for restructured meat products are particularly innovative."
Friedemann Nau, Head of Product Development, Meat and Sausage Products

Our core competences include extending shelf life, efficient meat binding systems for convenience products, and the development of sausage and ham products, be they gourmet French ham, German delicatessen ham, English sandwich ham, Arabian poultry products, Italian pizza ham or Russian specialities. In our Meat Pilot Facility we develop special injections and recipes, which we modify and optimise as desired by customers.

For practical testing we have access to many selected raw materials such as animal and plant proteins, thickening and gelling hydrocolloids, flavourings and phosphates. The Meat Pilot Facility has vacuum and micro-cutters, as well as a combined cooker and smoker. A large cold room with a 76 needle injector and tumbler lets us test ham injections under different temperatures.

Nutritional Supplements Studio

“Our laboratories provide the best conditions for the extensive analyses and tests necessary in developing health and wellness products. We make soy beverages, drinking gelatine, base powders, pure lecithin granulate, diet products, protein drinks for athletes, isotonic beverage powders and many kinds of bars, in top quality.”
Astrid Pomrehn, Product Development, Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements must taste good if consumers are to use them regularly and enjoy them. In taste tests – often together with the customer – we adjust the flavour, texture and presentation to suit the target group, taking national differences into consideration. In fact, the development and manufacture of functional bars is one of our core businesses.

Enzyme Laboratory

"Our Enzyme Laboratory has the infrastructure to select from hundreds of enzymes the building blocks we need, modify them, and combine them into individual solutions. We think of ourselves as enzyme designers."
Dr. Lutz Popper, Scientific Director

One of our core competences is the development of enzymes and enzyme systems with precisely defined properties. Our sister company Mühlenchemie is a pioneer in the development of enzymes for treating flour.

In cooperation with universities and partner companies, we develop our own bacteria cultures for enzyme production. We process the resulting special enzyme concentrates and standard enzyme preparations into multi-enzyme complexes for the production of bakery and pasta products, confections, beer and spirits. We test these compounds for functionality, and adjust them to meet customer needs.

One of the latest innovations from our enzyme research is sulfhydryl oxidase, an enzyme that cross-links proteins. Multiple application patents have been applied for or are pending.

Lipid Pilot Facility

"Applications research is the basis for innovations in vegetable lipids and lecithins. We work for both human and animal nutrition."
Dr. Roland Adelmann, Head of Product development, Lipids and Lecithin

With a lab lavishly equipped with analytical instruments and test systems, we develop and refine special lecithins and lipid combinations. Extensive testing with warm and cold spray technology allows us to create customer-specific solutions for converting oily substances into powdery and crystalline structures, with improved functionality.

Spray Drying Pilot Facility

"Experts from many disciplines run comprehensive tests in our Spray Drying Pilot Facility to develop powdered products and refine recipes. The setup can be individually configured for maximum efficiency. We produce samples under real production conditions, for straightforward upscaling to bulk production."
Martin Ehrlich

We have equipment for spray drying, spray crystallisation and micro-encapsulating. In spray drying, watery solutions, suspensions and emulsions are dried into powder without temperature stress. We can control the release of encapsulated active ingredients through the selection and combination of protective materials. Thanks to precise, reproducible temperature control, we can dry heat-sensitive agents as well. We can influence granular size by varying the process parameters.