CHINA – British ingredients supplier Tate & Lyle has doubled the size of its food application laboratory in Shanghai, China by adding new customer-facing facilities in order to enhance capabilities in novel ingredients for the food and beverage sector.

The company says that to ensure that it meets the growing demand for healthier, as well as great tasting products, the company has moved to a new office and laboratory with capacities to enable customers design, trial and benchmark different recipe formulations.

“China is the largest and most dynamic food market in the world, serving a domestic population of 1.4 billion whose needs and preferences are constantly evolving.

By doubling the size of our food application laboratory in Shanghai, we will be able to partner more closely with food and beverage manufacturers and continue to grow our business in the Chinese market,” said Harry Boot, General Manager Asia Pacific and Senior Vice President, Speciality Food Ingredients at Tate & Lyle.

The new facilities will offer innovation in a range of categories including dairy, beverage, bakery, and soups, sauces and dressings in addition to ultra-high temperature processing (UHT) services.

The plant is equipped with a new sensory laboratory that will carry out objective-driven sensory evaluations for trial formulations before manufacturers finally launch them.

“Working in close collaboration with manufacturers at our new application centre in Shanghai, we are able quickly to develop ideas, ingredient solutions, and process innovations which deliver products that can win in the market,” said Lily Jiang, Technical Service Manager at Tate & Lyle Shanghai.

Tate & Lyle adds that the expansion was prompted by a change in tastes and preferences by Chinese consumers who want healthier options

The facility will help manufacturers launch more products with fewer calories, less sugar and fat, and added health benefits, to meet these changes in consumer preferences.

The company says it’s expanding its strength in innovative technology by turning raw materials into specialty food ingredients and solutions, to add functionality to food and beverages, with a strong focus on China.

It recently expanded capacity to more than three times at its polydextrose fibre facility in Nantong, China plus additional process upgrades.

The expansion of the laboratory aims at transforming it into a modern hub for food ingredient formulations in the region.

In the Asian region, the company more than doubled the size of its Singapore laboratory, with new facilities including a pilot plant and wider analytical capabilities early this year.