Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland opens food innovation centre in Singapore

Savory application specialist Melanie Valdez weighs chicken skewers to determine yield gain from using lab-created marinate at Archer Daniels Midland's Wild Flavors & Specialty Ingredients Southeast Asia's meat and savory lab. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - Novel flavours will be cooked up in a new innovation centre opened by food and agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) in Singapore's Biopolis research hub.

Launched on Wednesday (Jan 24), the 8,900 square foot facility is ADM's first in South-east Asia and was opened with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). It will develop flavours and speciality ingredients for food and beverage manufacturers in the region and beyond.

Coming under ADM business unit Wild Flavors & Specialty Ingredients, the Technical and Application Center will be staffed by food scientists and related specialists, as well as sales, marketing and regulatory personnel. ADM intends to recruit some 50 employees, with a focus on local talent.

Explaining the choice of Singapore as the new centre's location, ADM's Asia president Donald Chen said: "This is the place where innovation is happening, so this is the place ADM needs to be and wants to be."

The centre includes a food and flavour analytics lab, a beverage and dairy applications lab and pilot plant, a bakery and confectionery lab, a meat and savoury lab, a sweet and savoury creation lab, sensory evaluation facilities, and a customer innovation centre.

The idea is for the centre to serve as an extension of ADM's customers' own research facilities, said Yushan Bai, WFSI Asia-Pacific general manager, technical operations. Customers can come down to the centre and work directly with the research teams.

WFSI president Vince Macciocchi noted that many of ADM's customers have their regional headquarters or innovation centres here.

"We want to make it easy for our customers to get to us," he said.

Research and innovation is a key pillar of Singapore's efforts to transform the food manufacturing sector.

"The opening today demonstrates Singapore's value as a hub for agri-commodity companies to co-innovate with their downstream customers," said Lee Eng Keat, executive director for International Organisations Programme Office, Logistics and Natural Resources, EDB.

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