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Cargill Opens Technology Center To Improve Food Experience

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The new laboratories will develop improved aromas for foods and other innovations to enhance taste. (Photo: Anna Moderska)
The new laboratories will develop improved aromas for foods and other innovations to enhance taste. (Photo: Anna Moderska)

BUSINESS

  • Cargill invests $12.6 million in 20,000-square meter technology center in Brazil dedicated to food experience
  • Center created with sustainability in mind to preserve vegetation and topsoil in area
  • Cargill launched program to help Brazilian farmers increase cocoa crop yields

Worth an investment of nearly $12.6 million, international food production leader Cargill has opened a new technology center in Campinas, Brazil, to house laboratories that will conduct research to improve customer experience in the fields of food, beverages, sweets and snacks.

Totaling 20,000 square meters, the new laboratories will develop improved aromas for foods as well as innovation to enhance food taste, with the end goal of bettering the way people experience the texture of foods.

Work done at the center will also focus on developing new and creative ingredients. Technology center experts will conduct taste tests and prepare new food products. Potential customers will also have the opportunity to test foods for research and development purposes, and a separate laboratory has been designed for food packaging, including paper goods and textiles.

Sustainable Work Environment

The laboratory was created with sustainability in mind so that the land where it sits and the surrounding area was not damaged during construction. The center uses strategies that will help save approximately 900,000 liters of water per year, and skylights and reflexive glass will help reduce the need for extra lighting. Other energy-saving measures include a special heating sytem and automated timers to control light use.

The flooring for the center is constructed from the certified wood of eucalyptus trees, and the area under the concrete is made of recycled bottles. All of the scraps from the center's construction have been recycled, with day-to-day waste from the center being processed through an ongoing recyling plan.

Cargill hopes to improve the cocoa crop yields in Brazil with a program called Project Phoenix, that teaches groups of cocoa suppliers and farmers useful techniques that help produce larger crop yield. Brazil's crops have been notoriously low, because of the witches broom fungus that has impacted cocoa crops.

So far, the program has improved cocoa yields by 180% over two years in the program for the first group of farms; the second group saw a 150% increase within one year. It will take at least eight years for the full results of the program will be realized.

Cargill has had a presence in Brazil since 1965, with headquarters in Sao Paulo.

Key Players – Brazil Food Industry

  • JBS SA, Embotelladora Andina, AmBev, Schincariol, Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao (CBD), Walmart Brazil, Carrefour Brazil, Brasil Foods SA

Key Statistics – Brazil Food Industry (source: Business Monitor International)

  • In 2011, hyper market grocery retail sales in Brazil should rise by more than 7% and are predicted to hit an increase of 35% by 2015.
  • This year, per-capita food consumption in Brazil was nearly 6% and is expected to reach 45% by 2015.
  • In 2011, soft drink sales are expected to be up more than 8%, and are predicted to rise by 44% before 2015.

By C. Williams for
C. Williams is a journalist based in the United States. She has been covering the news for over a decade.

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