SWITZERLAND – Bühler has partnered with flavor and fragrance house, Givaudan, to open an Innovation Center dedicated to plant-based food in Singapore.

The new facility, located at Givaudan Woodlands site, will be jointly run by the two companies, bringing together a pilot plant featuring Bühler extrusion and processing equipment and a kitchen and flavor laboratory by Givaudan.

The facility will be supported by experts from both companies and is planned to open in Singapore later this year to enable the companies better serve the Asian market.

According to the companies, the innovation center will welcome food processing firms, start-ups and university researchers looking to develop novel plant-based food products.

The investment will leverage Bühler’s equipment and processing expertise combined with Givaudan’s flavor, taste, ingredient, and product development expertise.

Both firms believe that this combination will create a unique offering and synergy that will be greatly advantageous to those developing new products, particularly when using wet or dry extrusion.

“We are very proud to launch this initiative. It is a testament that industry leaders can come together to the benefit of the whole food innovation ecosystem,” says Fabio Campanile, Head of Science and Technology at Givaudan.

“We are especially excited that this project will take place in Singapore, a diverse country at the heart of Southeast Asia with strong ambitions for the future of food.

“We see a lot of market potential for plant-based products in the coming years in Asia, in particular, the alternative meat sector.”

According to Campanile, the initial focus on extruded products is important as this is a key technology for developing authentic meat alternatives.

“The projected population of 10 billion people by 2050 is a challenge too big to be solved alone,” explains Ian Roberts, CTO of Bühler.

“Companies are increasingly aware of the urgent need to collaborate to make an impact on the climate and nutrition challenges of this century. Universities, start-ups, and companies need to come together to innovate and find more sustainable ways to produce food.

“This is what this Innovation Center is all about, and we are pleased we found a like-minded partner to bring this vision to life in Asia, home to half of the world’s population.”

The Innovation Center is currently under construction at Givaudan Woodlands site in Singapore while the full facility opening is planned for the fourth quarter of 2020.