Bunge North America (www.bungenorthamerica.com), the North American operating arm of Bunge Ltd., expanded its Bunge Ingredient Innovation Center (BIIC) in Bradley, Ill., to include a full service culinary center.
The facility, about an hour south of Chicago, now includes an industrial kitchen and a corporate dining room with extensive video capabilities.
“The culinary center enables customers to take our food ingredients and test how they improve their existing products or develop new recipes,” said Soren Schroder, president and CEO of Bunge North America.
With the addition of the culinary center, the BIIC can now take products from creation to commercialization. The Bradley facility already had an edible oils and extrusion pilot plant, plus 25 scientists to help develop products to meet food industry trends. These products can be manufactured in a real-world manufacturing environment as well as tested in product formulations.
Then, after products are developed, they can be tested and sampled in the bakery applications, analytical and sensory laboratories to ensure they meet the nutritional, performance and taste attributes required.
“In addition to providing a hands-on experience for our customers, the new culinary center enables us to showcase the talents of our chefs through live product demonstrations and training,” said Bill McCullough, director of marketing. “We also strengthen the link between the applications scientists and culinary experts from our chef’s group by developing on-trend menu items for foodservice as well as new product concepts that end up on the retail shelf.”