Last month, Nestlé opened a global research and development center for biscuits and cereal-based snacks in Santiago, Chile. The new center will lead Nestlé’s global research and development in biscuits and cereal-based snacks, focusing both on innovation and renovation of products. R&D Santiago will bring together specialists from various fields, including nutrition, engineering, product development and quality control.

The development of new technologies at R&D Santiago will help to further reduce sugar and fat levels to make biscuits lighter, without compromising taste or texture. R&D Santiago also will develop biscuits with bioactive ingredients to improve digestive health as well as fortified products to address local micronutrient deficiencies.

“The research at this center will provide exciting opportunities for innovation in a very important product category,” said Nestlé CEO Paul Bulcke, who helped inaugurate the event. “It will allow us to offer consumers in Latin America and beyond the choice of tasty, healthy, more nutritious biscuits.” Chile’s health and agriculture ministers, Álvaro Erazo and Reinaldo Ruiz, respectively, as well as Alberto Undurraga, mayor of Maipú, also were present at the formal opening.

Nestlé has been present in Chile for 76 years and today has seven production facilities in different parts of the country. The new center in Santiago will benefit by being based at Nestlé’s industrial site in Maipú, which employs more than 1,200 people, thus taking advantage of existing research and development and biscuit manufacturing operations.