Nestlé is extending its Product Technology Centre (PTC) in Konolfingen, as part of its commitment to increase its research and development (R&D) capabilities in Switzerland.

PTC Konolfingen is primarily focused on the development of infant formula, dairy products and medical nutrition.

The facility had earlier developed hypoallergenic (HA) infant formula, a pro-biotic for all infant formulas including HA, and created and patented a spray drying process.

The new extension will feature a new spray drying tower, installations for ‘wet mix’ processing and special production lines to package Nestlé powdered products.

It will also be equipped with a process control system to meet a variety of food and safety standards.

Nestlé chief technology officer Werner Bauer said that they introduced the concept of Product Technology Centres in 1998.

"This was a game-changing decision that concentrated product development to just a few sites globally. PTC Konolfingen quickly became a flagship for our new R&D structure," Bauer said.

The move follows a CHF200m investment in 2011 to open a production unit at the Konolfingen site.

Earlier this year, the company opened a Clinical Development Unit and is set to open the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences in Lausanne.

In total the company has invested about CHF465m in the site over the past six years.

Nestlé has 32 R&D centers, including 12 PTCs worldwide. They include the PTC for coffee technology in Orbe, Switzerland and PTC Singen in Germany.

Application groups of the global food and beverage firm work with PTC experts to install new process lines and factory extensions.

In 2011, the company announced that it will extend its PTC for confectionery in York in the UK to develop and test technologies, manufacturing processes and equipment.