Intensifying its commitment to innovation in food, nutrition, and food safety, Cargill has opened two major R&D facilities in the final two months of 2016. These facilities—one in the United States and one in China—will focus on continuous improvement, investing in the future of food to meet shifting consumer expectations.
"Consumers are voting with their values on a wide range of quickly emerging food issues," said Ruth Kimmelshue, Corporate Senior Vice President for Business Operations and Supply Chain, in a company release. "We have to anticipate what the world wants to eat and what the future of nutrition is going to look like to help our customers succeed and meet consumer demand. These new R&D facilities will help us do just that."
The Minneapolis Research and Development Center in Plymouth, Minnesota, is a $25 million, 100,000-square-foot facility with molecular biology laboratories, advanced analytical and materials research labs, test kitchens, and a pilot production plant. Roughly 200 scientists are employed by the facility and working on a variety of projects, from improving food safety to developing new simple, nutritious ingredients to meet consumers’ changing expectations. The project builds on Cargill’s 2014 investment in a Food Innovation Center, in Plymouth, where food science teams develop innovative edible oils and products and solutions for bakery, snack, cereal, and foodservice customers.
The Cargill ONE Innovation Center in Shanghai is a 22,000-square foot facility. Complete with a sensory lab, demonstration kitchen and capabilities for dairy, beverage, bakery, convenience food, and culinary applications, the site employs more than 25 scientists to create innovative menu solutions that combine consumer insights, trend forecasts, and culinary expertise. The facility will serve as an incubator for future tastes, as well as a platform to educate the public on nutrition and food safety.
"These integrated facilities give Cargill the ability to harness our global expertise in animal protein, refined oils, sweeteners, starches, cocoa, texture solutions, and unique flavors in one facility, creating a new R&D footprint in the foodservice market," said Kimmelshue. "They will serve not only as innovation centers for China and North America, but will help our global community meet ever changing demands of modern consumers for taste, nutrition, and safety."
These two new centers add to the company’s regional food research and innovation centers in Campinas, Brazil; Vilvoorde, Belgium; Beijing, China; and Wichita, Kansas, and other local food application facilities, animal nutrition research centers, and product development centers around the world.
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