SINGAPORE – Global agribusiness and food giant, Cargill has inaugurated a new innovation center in Singapore to accelerate nutrition and food safety endeavor in the Asia Pacific region.

The center will also help address the changing consumer need for healthier and inventive food products while giving it a competitive advantage in the global market.

The innovation center in Singapore will employ 20 food scientists by the end of 2019, adding to the company’s global network of 10 other innovation centers and 2,000 food scientists.

“Consumers in Asia Pacific want healthy and nutritious food and drinks but do not want to compromise on taste, quality and affordability,” said Peter Van Deursen, president of Cargill’s global starches, sweeteners & texturizers business.

“Our new innovation center in Singapore will allow us to collaborate more closely with our customers in this region to create and reformulate products that better suit these changing consumer trends.”

The opening ceremony was attended by Dr. Poh Koon and senior representatives from Enterprise Singapore, the Economic Development Board, Singapore Food Agency and the U.S. Embassy, together with Cargill employees, partners and customers.

Cargill already has two innovation centers in the region—in Beijing and Shanghai, and Singapore is a strategic location set to bring innovative solutions and important knowledge to consumers.

“In order to stay ahead, businesses will have to develop products that are tailored to the evolving needs and preferences of Asian consumers,” said Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry.

“Singapore, with its extensive regional connectivity, strong research base and clustering of innovation activities, is well positioned for companies such as Cargill to harness the growth opportunities in Asia.”

Cargill’s global network of innovation centers provides R&D, applications and technical service support, providing expertise in products such as chilli sauces, yoghurt drinks with fruit and vegetable extracts and wafers with low trans-fatty acids chocolate coating.

The innovation strategy places the company in close contact with evolving trends in local markets, allowing customers to tailor products to local market tastes.

To reinforce its commitment to diversification and innovation in line with changing consumer trends, Cargill recently invested in Aleph Farms, an Israeli cultured meat company.