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Tuesday 19 December 2023

The FoodLab, an original combination of skills between two recognized experts in food & health.

On Monday December 18, the Centre Technique de la Conservation des Produits Agricoles (CTCPA) and UniLaSalle Beauvais, an engineering school specializing in agri-food and food-health, inaugurated the FoodLab, a new multi-process food production facility in Beauvais.

This FoodLab is destined to become the benchmark innovation center for healthy, sustainable and traceable food in the agricultural and food sectors of the Hauts-de-France region. This partnership will enable innovation, training and support for farmers, SMEs and startups.


The creation of the FoodLab, with an investment of €2,673,958.68 (incl. VAT), is in line with the Hauts-de-France region's strategy to be a reference and innovation player for the agricultural and agri-food sectors. 

This structure will contribute to the development of short circuits between farmers and consumers; attract agri-food companies and start-ups to the Hauts-de-France region by creating synergies with the entire ecosystem.

FoodLab Hauts-de-France : les installations vues d'en haut



Managed since September 1, 2023 by Nicolas MARISSAL, the FoodLab will be used to carry out support studies for companies in the sector (technical feasibility studies, recipe development, product manufacturing and characterization, equipment sizing, etc.) and to provide production tools for farmers and entrepreneurs wishing to carry out their own manufacturing. 

With a covered surface area of 700 m², the FoodLab is equipped with semi-industrial equipment for a wide range of manufacturing processes, from proof-of-concept to pre-industrial scale.  

The hall's equipment includes grinding and mixing, separation, cooking, concentration and drying, refrigeration treatment, heat treatment, bread & cookie making and packaging. 

This equipment is suitable for : 

  • Production of preserves and ready-made meals from vegetables and meats, 
  • Production of pasteurized juices and beverages, 
  • Production of cereal-based products (such as cookies) or pulses.


By pooling the skills of UniLaSalle and the CTCPA, the FoodLab will be able to carry out research projects on the processing and valorization of agricultural products, from the study of processes and their energy performance, to the analysis of the properties and functionalities of processed products. 

Alongside these activities, the FoodLab will welcome trainees for certification courses such as "Running a canning business" and "Running an autoclave in the food sector", as well as for the "Developing a cookie production business" cycle. Short courses will also be offered on hygiene, sanitary quality control and production line management. 

It will also enable UniLaSalle students to carry out experimental work on pilot installations as part of projects with industry professionals. This will meet employers' needs by giving UniLaSalle's future Food and Health engineers the skills they need to work in the food industry (from prototyping to scale-up and line management).


BellyCare, a start-up with UniLaSalle's "entrepreneurship" label, will be the first start-up to work in the FoodLab. Its project? To offer people suffering from digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, a range of Low-FODMAP pasteurized ready meals adapted to their syndrome. 

The company is made up of 3 UniLaSalle alumni: Melissa Bertin, Maxime Blanc and Rémy Degrolard. Incubated within Euralimentaire and Innov'a (formerly Amiens Cluster), the startup was awarded funding from the Fonds Régional d'Incubation FRI, which enabled it to develop the heat treatment of its range of dishes with the help of the CTCPA. 

"The support of the Hauts-de-France region, UniLaSalle, our school, and CTCPA, our technical partner, naturally led us to produce our first dishes at the FoodLab! "says Mélissa BERTIN, Co-Founder & Product Development, Marketing & Communications Manager. 

BellyCare dishes will be delivered nationwide and marketed from next February.


The total cost of the work is €2,673,958.68 inc. The ERDF grant from the Hauts-de-France region amounts to €995,500.000 inc. tax, i.e. 37.2% of the total cost. The balance was paid equally by UniLaSalle and the CTCPA.

logo FEDER

The FoodLab will be operational by January 2024.

About UniLaSalle

UniLaSalle is a Polytechnic Institute with more than 4,200 students on 4 campuses (Amiens, Beauvais, Rennes, Rouen), born of the merger of five engineering schools and the creation of a veterinary school. At the heart of the challenges of transition, it represents a new generation of Grande École, uniting the sciences of Life, Earth, Environment and Energy with industrial sciences and digital technologies. As a member of the worldwide La Salle Universities network, UniLaSalle has been pursuing its educational project for 170 years: to reveal the potential of each individual. It is based on a relationship of trust and a rich student experience, founded on a collective pedagogy that encourages action for the common good. UniLaSalle is committed to building a more humane, fairer and more sustainable world through its research serving companies, industries and regions, and through its training courses. 
Tomorrow starts HERE.

UnilaSalle on social media


The CTCPA (Centre Technique de la Conservation des Produits Agricoles) is a technical research and service center that has been assisting food companies for over 70 years with product and process development, food quality and safety, environmental and industrial performance, and packaging. The CTCPA provides services for all IAAs (from start-ups to large groups) in the form of audits-consulting-studies, laboratory analyses (microbiology/molecular biology, nutritional quality, packaging), trials and pre-production runs in technology halls, process evaluations and intra- and inter-company training courses. 

Historically, the CTCPA has provided collective research and technical/regulatory support for the canned, dehydrated and frozen vegetable industries.

More information on  www.ctcpa.org and on CTCPA social media