Cargill Asia Pacific Holdings Pte Ltd bags SBR International Business Awards for Food Science
Company’s innovation centre in Singapore addresses nutrition and food safety needs in the region as a powerhouse for new products and solutions.
Consumer values around taste, nutrition and food safety have evolved over the years. And with consumers in Asia-Pacific increasingly looking for healthy and nutritious food and drinks that do not compromise on taste, quality and affordability, Cargill stood up to the challenge by opening its first innovation centre in Singapore in June 2019. Today, the centre is functioning as a powerhouse for new products and solutions in the food sector.
Cargill, which already has two innovation centres in Beijing and Shanghai, chose Singapore for its third centre in Asia Pacific, thanks to its strategic location and the government's strong focus on building the country as a global innovation hub. Located at Biopolis Way at One North, the Cargill Innovation Centre in Singapore strengthens the company's technical / R&D capabilities. Furthermore, it helped them to collaborate with customers and research institutions in the region to create and reformulate innovative solutions and products that better suit changing consumer trends.
The Innovation Centre in Singapore, which employs over 25 food scientists and covers food categories including Dairy & Beverage, Convenience and Confectionery, connects customers to Cargill's global network of other innovation centres and 2,000 food scientists. Its objectives are:
- To develop closer customer intimacy - work with R&D and marketing teams of customers to develop joint projects. E.g. innovation day events with customers.
- To produce new solutions through research/knowledge partnerships with academic institutions, tech partners, start-ups and to come up with innovative solutions to address nutritional gaps, address food challenges.
- To reinforce technical and R&D capabilities by experimenting with food ingredients, develop research, innovation to introduce new product concepts in response to key consumer trends e.g. health & wellness, plant-based protein, etc.
The Centre offers a wide ingredient portfolio, with state of art food processing equipment, and category-focused expertise to create the next generation of innovations. It also offers the following features:
- Three laboratories each focusing on Dairy & Beverage, Convenience and Confectionery for customers to run application product trials with Cargill; state-of-the-art equipment that replicates the actual production facilities of customers.
- The only Specialized Health and Nutrition Laboratory set up in Asia to facilitate external research partnerships with customers and academic institutions to find innovative solutions to meet health & nutritional challenges.
- Boardroom with capacity of over 100pax which can be opened to host innovation-themed events for/with customers, industry seminars, meetings and discussions.
- Communal kitchen to facilitate and support new product ideation, as well as the development of prototypes and new concepts.
- Serves as a collaborative space with food start-ups and research institutions where the novel applications of new ingredients may be developed and tested.
With the help of this innovation center, Cargill has successfully commercialized a number of product concepts that respond to the consumer desire for healthier (low sugar, plant-based protein) products in the region—the three notable ones being the use of Cargill’s Radipure™ pea protein in ready-to-drink vegan coffee in Japan and Vitasoy drinks in Australia, as well as the use of Cargill’s Truvia (reduced sugar solution) product across various food categories in the Philippines. Its other achievements include:
- Two on-going midterm projects in the area of biotransformation for specialized nutrition applications.
- In line with Cargill’s business objective to offer customer low trans-fat solutions that are aligned with the healthier food trend, the company has initiated discussions with customers in Southeast Asia, Middle East Turkey, Africa, and Central Eastern Europe on projects to develop plant-based fats solutions to reduce trans fatty acids in packaged food. To date, there are 11 initiatives in their global edible oils solutions projects pipeline.
Watch the interview below to know more about their winning project: