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Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Ltd., St. Louis, opened its Bunge Ingredient Innovation Center (BIIC) in Bradley, Ill., next to its edible oil refinery facility.
The center includes 12,500 sq. ft. of research and development space and a scaled-down version of an actual edible oil plant, capable of producing shortenings, oils and many other products used by food manufacturers, bakeries and restaurants.
The center is a working facility, equipped with an extrusion pilot plant to test snack foods and cereal applications made from milled grain products, as well as bakery applications and analytical and sensory testing laboratories for milling and oil innovations designed to help ensure that test products meet the nutritional, performance and taste attributes required for a customer’s finished product, says Roger Daniels, director of research and development at Bunge Oils.
“As a global leader in edible oils and milling, our customers trust Bunge to be the experts in developing the innovative solutions they’ll need to meet future consumer demands,” says Soren Schroder, president and CEO, Bunge North America, who welcomed visitors to the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This state-of-the-art facility ensures we can quickly take our ingredient solutions from concept through commercialization.”
"In addition to supplying high quality milled grain products, the BIIC puts us in position to provide our customers with a collaborative innovation environment,” adds Brian Anderson, director, innovation and technical services, Bunge Milling. “We now have the ability to configure customer-specific extruded snack, cereal and ingredient applications on site."
“Our team of 25 scientists and support staff has created an award-winning portfolio to address concerns about trans-fat in shortenings as well as the need for whole grain products,” Daniels says. “With the BIIC, our customers will be able to test how these solutions improve the nutritional profile and performance of their existing products or work with our experts to develop new products.”