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Asia Pacific: Wacker opens food lab in Singapore

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Wacker Chemie AG has opened a new food laboratory at its Technical Center in Singapore.

The regional competence center now has a newly created laboratory dedicated to innovative food ingredients, dietary supplements and gumbase applications such as for fat-free desserts, egg-free bakery goods, coconut milk powder without caseinate, vegan meat flavors and highly bioavailable curcumin.

The new laboratory enables the company to provide its customers in Asia with even better service as well as support for the development of novel, tailored products in the fast-growing market for food solutions.

“Asia is a focus market for the food industry and therefore for our innovative food ingredients and dietary supplements, too,” said Dr. Gerhard Schmid, president of Wacker Biosolutions.

“With this facility, which is unique in the region, we can further augment our position as an innovative partner to the food industry.”

The food market activities of Wacker Biosolutions, the life sciences and biotechnology division within the Wacker Group, are focusing primarily on food ingredients and dietary supplements.

The company already operates dedicated food laboratories in the US and Germany to provide its customers with optimum service.

The new laboratory in Singapore will focus on applications involving cyclodextrins, cysteine and hydroxytyrosol intended for the special demands and needs of Asia.

The ring-shaped cyclodextrin sugar molecules, which Wacker bioengineers from plant-based raw materials, such as corn and potatoes, can replace conventional animal-derived emulsifiers like egg yolk in mayonnaise, egg white and hard fats in desserts and icings, and milk protein in instant coconut milk powder.

Moreover, they can protect sensitive ingredients, such as vitamins and co-enzymes against harmful influences like oxygen and light, increase the bioavailability of hydrophobic substances, such as curcumin, and mask the bitter taste of health-promoting substances, such as green tea extract.

Fermentation prepared cysteine from Wacker can serve as a vegan and halal-certified raw material for meat flavors and as a processing auxiliary in bakeries.

HTEssence, Wacker’s nature-identical hydroxytyrosol, is used in food supplements such as hard capsules, energy bars and drinks.

It is an antioxidant that is claimed to have therapeutic effects on blood pressure and the immune and cardiovascular systems and is used in food supplements such as tablets, energy bars and drinks.

The company’s solid resins for gumbase further make it possible to quickly and efficiently produce high-quality products for the rapidly growing chewing gum market.

“With a highly fragmented Asia, it is clear that companies need tailor-made solutions to meet market needs. Consequently, the ability to innovate quickly becomes of utmost importance,” says Cindy Koh, director energy & chemicals, Singapore Economic Development.

“Instead of opening labs in every market across Asia, economies of scale can be derived by having Singapore as a strategic base to drive application development for the region.”

“Our access to markets and insights, as well as our research and development ecosystem of publicly funded research institutes and universities, offer opportunities for collaboration which can accelerate innovation yield and reduce cost.”

The Singapore technical center has been supporting customers from the electronics, polishes, textiles, automotive, coatings, construction and health industry since 2007.

Spanning an area of more than 1,500 sqm, the regional competence center now houses customer development, applications technology, sales, and basic and advanced training under one roof.