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Cargillís $6.4 million expansion in food pilot facility aims to accelerate customer product launches


Cargill is investing $6.4 million to expand its food pilot capabilities at its North American Pilot Development Center in Savage, Minn., enabling bakery customers to increase their speed-to-market with new products. The new facility will allow the edible oils business to conduct multi-scale, continuous piloting, starting with the refining of new vegetable oils and blends and ending with innovative shortening solutions for breads, cakes, cookies, frying and other uses. Other food ingredients, including those used for confectionery products and infant nutrition, can be piloted at the site as well.

ďExpanding our piloting capabilities will help us deliver more quickly what matters most to our customers,Ē says Florian Schattenmann, chief technology officer, Cargill. ďIt allows us to better partner with our customers to evaluate new raw materials, validate performance specifications and develop new products through a distinctive continuum of innovation services all located within the Twin Cities.Ē

Highlights of the 6,500-square-foot facility include:

  • A refinery pilot plant to create new oils and blends using the latest technologies to produce shortenings that have enhanced functionality for specific customer applications;
  • A state-of-the-art fats and oils crystallization center to process shortening, important for ensuring the right textures in newly designed products; and
  • A lab equipped to rapidly analyze key fats and oils quality parameters.

Construction of the new facility, which sits adjacent to Cargillís existing Engineering R&D Lab in Savage, began in April 2019 and is expected to be fully operational late summer 2020.† The new Center complements Cargillís state-of-the-art†Minneapolis Research and Development Center and Cargill Food Innovation Center.†

ďOur expanded pilot facility and our Food Innovation Center together will allow us to more quickly respond to customer requests for samples and test their performance in bakery products,Ē says Sonia Punwani, global bakery category leader for Cargillís edible oils business. ďThis is a big step forward for us to support bakery innovation with the combination of science, customer intimacy, and market insights.

The new facility joins other pilot and food innovation facilities Cargill also operates including its†European Research and Development Centre†in Vilvoorde, Belgium;†Asia Innovation Center†in Beijing, China; and†Cargill Innovation Center†in Singapore.† The global presence allows for broad knowledge sharing to create customized regional solutions.

About Cargill

Cargillís 160,000 employees across 70 countries work relentlessly to achieve our purpose of nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 154 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture.

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