Secna RDi

Innovation has been an essential part of our business group ever since it was founded.

Our RDI team plans and develops projects that range from improving the stability and applicability of our colourings to different food and non-food matrices, to the development of new technologies for obtaining, purifying and stabilising said colourings. This also includes the identification of new natural sources for colourings as well as the agro-industrial and biotechnological processes necessary for their use.

We have developed the technology for obtaining betaine concentrates (concentrates with a high beta-carotene content from carrots), and we regularly work on developing new colourings, musts and vegetable concentrates of natural origin from a variety of raw materials.

We employ state-of-the-art technology to provide innovative new solutions to our customers.

Secna - Laboratory


Research and quality control facilities

Each of the group’s companies has its own quality and development laboratory and carries out innovation activities in coordination with the group’s RDI Department.

We have chromatography laboratories in Spain and Italy, chemical and microbiological analysis laboratories in all of our companies and pilot plants (reactors and extraction, purification and stabilisation systems) in our facilities in Italy, Spain and Turkey. Our laboratories are equipped with the latest technologies for the quality control of our products, and they also work with external laboratories of international prestige.

Chromatography, chemical and microbiological analysis laboratories

Reactors and extraction, purification and stabilisation systems


Priority lines of research

Development of healthy products

Supporting our customers by developing “free from” and “clean label” products. Developing new formulations with levels well below those required by international legislation in compounds such as 4-MeI, HMF, etc.

More info

New processing technologies

Through the use of our own resources, or in collaboration with various universities and public and private research centres, we study new process technologies such as PEF treatments, industrial applications of hyperbaric technology, microencapsulation processes or supercritical fluid extraction technologies, as well as biotechnological avenues for obtaining natural colourings.

New food and non-food applications

We research new food and non-food applications for our colourings, musts and concentrates in different matrices and, together with our customers’ RDI teams, we develop tailor-made solutions for food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical use.

Improving the stability and applicability of our products

The objective of this line is to develop more stable products with greater applicability in different food matrices (bakery and pastry, dairy products, alcoholic beverages, ice cream, meat products, soft drinks, etc.)

More info

Development of new products

We research new agricultural raw materials, new plant varieties, alternatives based on biotechnological means of obtaining colourings, the development of food colours with greater staining power, etc.

Digitisation and automation of processes

We are working on digitising our internal processes and laboratory management, as well as the automation and use of sensors in our main production processes.

Secna - Laboratory


Participating in national and international working groups and associations

The team members from the RDI and Quality Department at SECNA NATURAL COLORS GROUP collaborate with various scientific and technological and industry-related associations and working groups, such as the Spanish Association of Manufacturers and Distributors of Food Additives and Supplements (AFCA), the European Technical Caramel Association (EUTECA) and the food and health working group Food for Life, among others. This collaboration is perfectly aligned with the group management’s commitment to innovation and product quality.

Food for life Spain

Recent RDI projects

2008 – 2009

Project “Applied research into new colour extraction processes to obtain highly purified natural colourings.”

2011 – 2012

Project “Applied research into odour removal processes from red cabbage extracts for the characterisation, extraction and purification of new natural colourings”

Financed by the Centre for the Development of Business Technology (CDTI)

2013 – 2014

Project “Applied research into new techniques of vine development. Optimising dry extraction per vine to minimise the level of sulphites in the grape must”

2014 – 2015

Project “Applied research into processes for the elimination of pyrazine that causes off-flavours in ammonium sulphite caramel colouring (E-150d). Increasing its useful life”

Financed by the Centre for the Development of Business Technology (CDTI)

2016 – 2017

Project “Applied research into new techniques for the extraction of natural colouring additives for food from polyphenols. Blue index.”

2019 – 2020

Project “Reduction of hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content in natural caramel-type colourings.”

Financed by the Centre for the Development of Business Technology (CDTI) and FEDER – More info

Dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge

Alongside our technological associates, we contribute to the dissemination of knowledge and technical education within the industry.

We are regularly involved in a number of activities for the dissemination of knowledge: technical articles in industry-related publications and scientific journals, technical presentations at fairs and conferences, presence in social media, production of content for our website, development of webinars and training activities for our customers.

Latest published articles / Download

Organic food: a brief overview – Organic Burnt Sugar and Aromatic Caramel and their application in the food industry
“Use of natural colours in the ice cream industry”
“Caramel Color with low content of 4-Methylimidazole for the food industry”
“Colorants of natural origin. Sources and applications. Review and general Introduction”

Disseminationof scientific and technical knowledge

Public and private organisations that we collaborate with