Ingredion is launching Idea Labs innovation centers in Asia Pacific, with a flagship center being unveiled at the company’s new regional headquarters in Singapore’s Biopolis, a purpose-built life sciences hub.
These centers are designed to fostering science-based collaboration and problem solving for food, beverage and industrial customers in four areas: consumer insights, applied research, applications knowhow and process technology.
Ingredion staff, from cereal chemists, food scientists and culinologists to marketers, process engineers and nutrition experts, work on applied science and with customers on specific challenges.
They also conduct basic research and are strongly connected with key global universities conducting carbohydrate research.
The Ingredion Idea Labs global center in Bridgewater, N.J., serves as a hub of Ingredion innovation and is where global applied research projects originate.
The regional network of sites serves to apply relevant global technology and insights and develop regionally-specific products and solutions.
“Collaboration between our application chemists and process innovation experts in our Idea Labs has already yielded new ingredients such as PRECISA GEL 03 for gelatin replacement in yogurt, QUIKTEX 3331 for building back texture when replacing solids in mayonnaise and BIOLIGO Oligo saccharides for pre-biotic fortification of a wide variety of foods,” says Jorgen Kokke, VP and president, Asia Pacific.
“Singapore’s end to end innovation ecosystem provides companies with an array of partners spanning consumer insights, brand development, marketing to scientific research and product development,” says Kevin Lai, Singapore Economic Development Board’s executive director for consumer businesses.
“Ingredion can work with partners in Singapore such as the market research firms, Food Innovation and Resource Centre, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research and universities to augment its Idea Labs innovation center.”
A key aspect of activity at the new Idea Labs is Ingredion’s Culinology capability, which is an added-value service being offered to food manufacturers, retailers and food service providers in Asia Pacific.
A unique offering that has been helping Ingredion customers in other regions to fast track their product development and reformulation, Culinology can now be offered by dedicated Culinologists via development centers in China, Australia and Singapore.
The Culinology centers host cuisine master classes, menu creation sessions, chef focus groups and customer-specific activities, as well as providing culinary learning and tasting opportunities to Ingredion employees.
Created by the US Research Chefs’ Association, Culinology is an approach to food that blends the culinary arts, food science and food technology. It seeks to improve the flavor and texture of food whether in a restaurant or a supermarket.