Unilever opened its first food product development centre in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) yesterday (11 February).

The centre, located in Poznan, Poland, will focus on product, process and packaging development for food products including soups, sauces and ketchup for Unilever's Knorr, Hellmann's, Bertolli, Unox and Tortex brands.

Unilever has invested EUR16m (US$20.7m) in the new building and its R&D facilities.

The challenge for the technical centre is to provide tasty, healthy and convenient liquid foods on a large scale, Unilever said.

Speaking at the opening, centre director Tony Natt said: "It takes the best R&D experts to be able to deliver the most natural, home-cooked quality foods on a large scale. We now have the expertise to deliver the best quality for our consumers around the world".