SINGAPORE – Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has opened a new plant-based innovation lab within its Biopolis research hub in Singapore, as it looks to advance protein innovation.

The American based commodities trading giant says the lab will develop ‘next-level, on-trend and nutritious’ plant-based products, tailor-made for the Asian consumer palate.

The Biopolis research hub, where the new protein innovation lab will be located, was launched in 2018, and houses a number of labs – including a food and flavour analytics hub, a beverage and dairy applications lab, a bakery and confectionery lab, a meat and savoury lab, and a customer innovation centre.

The new facility will feature a combination of experts in proteins and texturing ingredients, alongside flavour specialists – who will test flavours, textures, fats and binding characteristics in-house and accelerate product development for customers.

ADM says the lab can also provide medium-scale sampling through forming and freezing capabilities to support market evaluation of new solutions.

“ADM is a pioneer in plant-based nutrition innovation, and this new facility will enhance our ability to meet rapidly growing consumer demand in the Asia-Pacific region and bring exciting new products and solutions to the market,” said Leo Liu, ADM president, Asia-Pacific.

According to Morder Intelligence, the Asia-Pacific Plant Protein Market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% during the forecast period of 2020-2025.

DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences notes that the plant-based protein market is expected to grow by 25% to US$1.7 billion – over the next five years.

Marie Wright, chief global flavourist and president for creation, design and development at ADM, says : “The lab will help us capture key insight and learnings to help drive exciting new solutions for the Asian market, but also help us better serve customers around the world looking to incorporate Asian flavours and preferences into their latest plant-based food and beverage innovations.”

Earlier, on April 1, the commodity trading giant said it would restart ethanol production at two of its U.S. corn dry mills this year, as the grains trader expects demand for the biofuel to rebound from a pandemic-led slump.

According to ADM, corn-based ethanol, blended into gasoline, is set to rise as people are expected to start driving more as COVID-19 vaccinations gather pace and as China imports more volumes.

The company had last April decided to temporarily idle ethanol production at its facilities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Columbus, Neb., due to lower gasoline demand.

ADM  is also planning to close two production plants at its animal nutrition division in France, as first reported by Reuters.

The move is part of its restructuring following the acquisition of Neovia in 2019 for US$1.81bn and is particularly expected to address two challenges: at the industrial level, an issue of overcapacity in certain production lines at the commercial level and an organization that is too complex for our clients.

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