US agribusiness giant opens innovation centre at Biopolis

Archer Daniels Midland's Technical and Application Centre includes a range of labs for food and flavour analytics, beverage and dairy applications, bakery and confectionery, meat, savouries and sweet products. There are also sensory evaluation facili
Archer Daniels Midland's Technical and Application Centre includes a range of labs for food and flavour analytics, beverage and dairy applications, bakery and confectionery, meat, savouries and sweet products. There are also sensory evaluation facilities and a customer innovation area.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Facility will devise flavours and speciality ingredients for global food and beverage manufacturers

Novel flavours will be cooked up in a new innovation centre opened in Singapore by an American food and agribusiness giant.

The facility developed by Archer Daniels Midland at Biopolis will devise flavours and speciality ingredients for food and beverage manufacturers across the world, tailoring products to suit local tastes.

It includes a range of labs for food and flavour analytics, beverage and dairy applications, bakery and confectionery, meat, savouries and sweet products. There are also sensory evaluation facilities and a customer innovation area.

Archer Daniels Midland's customers can go to the Technical and Application Centre, as it is known, and work directly with research teams on anything from refining individual flavours and ingredients to creating the final product.

In particular, the beverage and dairy pilot plant allows for scaled-up production, giving clients a realistic idea of what the final mass-produced beverage will be like.

The aim is for the centre to serve as an extension of research facilities run by the company's own customers.

The 8,900 sq ft facility - the firm's first research centre in South-east Asia - will recruit about 50 employees, focusing on local talent. These will be food scientists and related specialists as well as sales, marketing and regulatory personnel.

Mr Donald Chen, Archer Daniels Midland's Asia president, said the company chose Singapore as "this is the place where innovation is happening, so this is the place ADM needs to be and wants to be".

WHERE THE ACTION IS

This is the place where innovation is happening, so this is the place ADM needs to be and wants to be.

MR DONALD CHEN, Archer Daniels Midland's Asia president.

The centre is part of the firm's Wild Flavors & Specialty Ingredients division.

Its president, Mr Vince Macciocchi, noted that many of Archer Daniels Midland's customers have their regional headquarters or innovation centres in Singapore.

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

The facility was set up with support from the Economic Development Board (EDB) and is part of efforts to employ research and innovation 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 Mr Lee Eng Keat, EDB's executive director for International Organisations Programme Office, Logistics and Natural Resources.

Archer Daniels Midland has 785 facilities worldwide and around 100 employees in Singapore and over 1,000 in the Asia-Pacific, where it has processing facilities, food and flavour labs and sales offices.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2018, with the headline 'US agribusiness giant opens innovation centre at Biopolis'. Print Edition | Subscribe