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Our impact

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Contact the NCEFE to discuss collaborations, facilities, funding and learning.


Our impact

The National Centre of Excellence for Food Engineering is a catalyst for innovation, forward thinking and problem solving. 

We enable the development of unique partnerships between manufacturers, specialist engineers, government and industry stakeholders, academics, researchers and scientists to meet challenges in food and drink manufacturing with ground-breaking solutions. 

We have a strong track record of delivering research and innovation which contributes to more sustainable, healthier food through the application of engineering and digital expertise.

Case studies

Ref 2021 logo

Saving energy in the food industry

Our centre has found new ways to make food production more efficient, reducing CO2 impact

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Rice on a wooden spoon


Enhanced rice milling and maximised valorisation of rice milling byproducts

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A ripe soft rind cheese


Reducing salt and fat content of baked cheese products

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Garlic bulb with cloves showing and partially peeled

Food Waste Net

Investigating methods to make the most of industrial garlic waste

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Working on Dext Heat technology: Dr Gareth Evans and Dr Pete Weston

Dext Heat Recovery

Turning the food industry's waste into energy

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Quorn food bags with labels showing

Quorn foods

Creating a new industry standard for sustainability and saving Quorn Foods over £1m

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Funded projects


Innovate UK – Rakusen's: Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing for Baking Industry

This project addresses very specific technological challenges resulting from transforming a traditional food manufacturer, still producing on machinery more than hundred-years-old, to a sustainable, optimised, and efficient enterprise fully utilising digital technologies, including Big Data, Industrial Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, underpinned by Food Science, to minimise its carbon footprint, maximise its capacity without compromising on its 'traditional' concept. The project will transform the business to become a sustainable, optimised, and efficient enterprise in full control of all manufacturing processes, product consistency, supply chains, and operating costs to help the company realise new market opportunities as a result of increased production capacity. 


South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre

Led by the University of Sheffield through a partnership that includes  the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, the four South Yorkshire local authorities, Sheffield Hallam University, and a range of private and voluntary sector organisations, the South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre connects world-leading research with regional partners to develop and implement plans to reduce emissions, while also providing jobs and economic growth

Using the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the centre will help organisations to consider not only the environmental aspects of sustainability challenges, but also balance these against economic and social factors in finding solutions.

MEFPROC – producing microbiologically safe products within the European Food Industry

Sheffield Hallam University is part of a pan-European research project aiming to enable the adoption of novel sustainable, innovative processing solutions capable of producing microbiologically safe, high-quality products within the European Food Industry. This is essential for future economic growth and advancement within the sector. 


Royal Academy of Engineering Newton Research Collaboration programme

A multidisciplinary research collaboration between Sheffield Hallam University and University Malaysia Pahang (Malaysia). The project’s objectives include maximising the sustainable utilisation of the high levels of water contained in food waste by producing green fuel and bio-fertiliser. The project involved a food producer and an energy company to investigate pilot-scale energy transformation systems that could benefit Malaysian economic development.

Nestlé – effective milk processing with variable composition

This project will deliver a step change to the capability of milk processing technology at Nestlé. Using inline composition analysis instrumentation integrated with the control system, the project will deliver a system producing consistent ‘in-spec’ product which optimises the use of the milk and minimises the additional costs incurred through product rework, scrap product, higher energy consumption and excess labour charges.


Nestlé Heat Recovery – reducing energy loss in baking processes

The project consortium of Sheffield Hallam University, Nestlé and Spirax-Sarco developed a novel heat pipe based heat exchanger for heat recovery, optimising the oven design to reduce the energy consumption by 15%. Across Nestlé's global manufacturing group, this will reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 30,000 tonnes.

Get in touch

Contact the NCEFE to discuss collaborations, facilities, funding and learning.