Silliker buys French firm for more healthy food research

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Health

Silliker is building clout in the provision of food clinical studies with the acquisition of French CRO Biofortis, as the healthy eating drive and claims legislation demand top notch research.

Silliker, part of the Mérieux-Alliance group, already has a reputation for providing research, testing, training, consulting and auditing services throughout the food industry, especially on practical controls and risk.

However it has been looking to increase the research services it can offer to food manufacturers and ingredients supplier, especially in the healthy foods arena.

“One major area of innovation and development for these companies is related to their ability to provide healthier foods with proven health benefits,”​ said Silliker. “At the same time, regulations are tightening and consumers are becoming more demanding.”

In particular, the new health claims regulation requires a storehouse of research behind any ingredient or food’s application.

According to Silliker, companies need additional, outside expertise – not only to prove the effectiveness of their products, but also to speed up development and commercialisation of new market entrants.

Biofortis, which was founded in 2002, is especially interesting for its Central Lab which specialises in metabolism disorders. This means that Biofortis can integrate the most recent biomarkers into the clinical trials it conducts.

The contract research organisation (CRO) also has close ties with the human health services of Nantes.

Philip Sans, CEO of Silliker, said: “Biofortis will complete and reinforce Silliker capabilities on a worldwide basis to support ingredients and food manufacturers throughout the product development process.”

Financial details of the acquisition have not been released.

China acquisitions

In April Silliker announced the acquisition of two Chinese laboratories - Shanghai Allsuccess Commodity Inspection Co., Ltd (ACIC) and Beijing Inspection JR Laboratories Inc (BJJR) in order to extend the analytical services it can offer to primary food producers, industry and international agencies.

Such acquisitions, subject to PRC regulatory approval, are timely given the high attention paid to food safety standards in China – especially in the wake of the melamine milk contamination crisis, which had far reaching implications throughout the food and ingredients sector.

Silliker is one of a small number of foreign analytical agencies in China.

In 2008 Silliker made no less than three acquisitions, of Brazilian analytical firm BioAgri; Portuguese food testing and consulting lab EGI; and Pioneer Dairy Laboratories in the US.

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