Sector News

Tate & Lyle doubles the size of food application lab in Shanghai

March 22, 2018
Consumer Packaged Goods

Tate & Lyle has doubled the size of its food application laboratory in Shanghai, China and added new customer-facing facilities to help manufacturers meet growing consumer demand for good tasting, healthier food and beverages.

For this to happen, Tate & Lyle has moved to a new office and laboratory within Shanghai’s Caohejing Hi-Tech Development Zone.

The expanded laboratory and pilot scale capabilities enable customers to design, trial and benchmark different recipe formulations across a range of categories including dairy, beverage, bakery, and soups, sauces and dressings.

Other services range from ultra-high temperature processing (UHT) used for sterilization to analysis in the new sensory lab, where consumers and professionally trained tasting panels can trial formulations before manufacturers launch them.

This expansion is part of a three-fold investment in Asia Pacific completed by Tate & Lyle in the past few months, including the expansion of the polydextrose soluble fiber facility in Nantong, China, and a major expansion of the Singapore food application laboratory. Together, these significant investments underline the strength of Tate & Lyle’s commitment to the Asia Pacific region.

Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Harry Boot, Tate & Lyle Asia Pacific General Manager and Senior Vice President, Speciality Food Ingredients, said: “The food and beverage industry in Asia is extremely fast-moving, with product development turnaround time outpacing what we see in many other markets. Recognising this entrepreneurial spirit and fast-paced approach to business, we have built a network of applications laboratories and added sales and technical service resources so we can anticipate customers’ needs and serve them faster.”

“Customers make effective and frequent use our application laboratories – often for days at a time – to trial concepts. The recent doubling of both our Shanghai and Singapore labs significantly boosts our ability to support customers in this way,” he notes.

In Shanghai, Tate & Lyle has a center of excellence in dairy and estimates that one in three yogurt products on shelf contain the company’s specialty starches.

“We are proud to have helped the main local dairy players to grow the sector so rapidly and are excited to continue these partnerships while expanding our presence in other categories. As part of this expansion, we have added to our dairy capability and further built capability in beverages, and soups, sauces, and dressings, and bakery. This includes the addition of pilot plant technology that enables manufacturers to trial formulations before taking them to market. Our new sensory lab will provide insight into how their products compare to others on the market and understand which formulation is the right one to launch,” Boot explains.

“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.”

“Taste, convenience and price have always been important to Chinese consumers, but increasingly they want healthier options which provide greater nutrition or support weight management. With our wide ingredient portfolio, technical expertise, and enhanced capabilities, Tate & Lyle can help food manufacturers launch more products with fewer calories, less sugar and fat, and added health benefits. Together, we are not just feeding people, we are feeding people well,” he says.

Lily Jiang, Technical Service Manager at Tate & Lyle Shanghai, also said: “Adapting recipes, particularly for established household brands, can be challenging – there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Food and beverages bring great joy to many of us and we all expect our favorite products to taste and look a certain way. Every ingredient in a recipe performs an important function, and these must all be addressed when a recipe is changed or a product reformulated. Working in close collaboration with manufacturers at our new application center in Shanghai, we can quickly develop ideas, ingredient solutions, and process innovations which deliver products that can win in the market.”

“Growing sales of our Speciality Food Ingredients in the two emerging markets of Asia Pacific and Latin America is a key strategic priority for Tate & Lyle. And we are making good progress. In Asia-Pacific, the high demand for our specialty food ingredients, such as our sweeteners, soluble fibers and texturants, has seen sales triple since 2011,” Boot concludes.

By Elizabeth Green

Source: Food Ingredients First

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