Research & Development

Colin Ray - Senior R&D Manager

Discover and collaborate from science to nutrition

I’m a dual British-Swedish citizen, I live in Malmo, Sweden, and I manage a world-class, food-science research team working at Denmark Protein in West Jutland, Denmark. My team is represented by six nationalities spanning four different decades in birth years and run the majority of internal and external research projects within protein functionality and technology in Arla Foods Ingredients, looking to discover the wonders of the whey together.

We discover ingredients for better lives

The thing that is unique about Arla Foods Ingredients and our approach to R&D is the dedication to top quality scientific research. It’s not just about developing product variants or new flavors, although that has its place. But for somebody who wants to work with science in the interface between biotech and food that makes a difference, this is the place to be. It’s not medicine, but it’s the next best thing: We discover and develop nutritious ingredients that help infants develop optimally and help people in hospital recover faster. That’s the mission, that’s what fires me up. If you can’t get motivated about that, you probably shouldn’t be here.

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We lead the way and create wonders

I have a PhD in Organic Synthetic Chemistry and you’ll find a great number of other scientific backgrounds in my team. We’re united by the desire to master the chemistry and the physics of proteins and understanding how these molecules work. When we do that, we can accomplish marvelous things. For instance, when the whey protein content of a liquid exceeds 7% or so and you pasteurize it, it gels. But one of my team members understands the biochemistry of protein so well that we can increase that to 30%. Now, imagine a patient that has difficulty swallowing. Hopefully, we can soon help this patient get the protein amount of a steak just by drinking what will feel like a glass of milk.

We’re all part of each other’s success

As a manager, I believe that helping the people on my team develop professionally is my most important mission. We’re all part of each other’s success. I try to ensure that my team-members are always involved in at least one external project with our university partners. Working in a purely academic setting and being exposed to great professors is good for their and our development. Getting published is also good for them – and for Arla Foods Ingredients – since we harvest the results of these collaborations to add value to the business. . For my own part, I enjoy the flexibility to plan and carry out my work in a way that makes it possible for me to live with my family in Sweden, dividing my time between our Copenhagen offices and Denmark Protein. During my workdays in Nr. Vium I rent a peaceful farm house nearby and go to the gym in Herning.