Bunge North America, the St. Louis-based operating arm of Bunge Ltd., unveiled a full-service culinary center at its Ingredient Innovation Center in Bradley, Ill. The new culinary unit features a full-service industrial kitchen and a corporate dining room.

"As a leader in innovation for milled grain and edible oil products, this new facility reflects our continued commitment to providing our customers with a complete range of products and services," states Soren Schroder, president and CEO of Bunge North America at a press conference hosted by Bunge last week at the center. "The culinary center enables customers to take our award-winning food ingredients and either test how they improve their existing products or develop new recipes."

With the addition of the culinary center, the Ingredient Innovation Center can now take products from creation to commercialization. A team of 25 scientists located in the facility develop nutritionally-improved and performance-enhanced solutions to meet changing food industry trends. The products can be tested in a real-world manufacturing environment in the edible oils and extrusion pilot plants. Food companies can then test the ingredients in product formulations.

After products are developed, they can be tested and sampled in bakery applications, as well as analytical and sensory laboratories to make sure they meet required nutritional, performance and taste attributes.

“In addition to providing hands-on experience for our customers, the new culinary center enables us to showcase the talents of our chefs through live product demonstrations and training," says Bill McCullough, director of marketing. "We also strengthen the link between the applications scientists and culinary experts from our chef's group by developing on-trend menu items for foodservice as well as developing new product concepts that end up on the retail shelf.”