Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited, announces the expansion of its Bunge Ingredient Innovation Center (BIIC) for Edible Oils & Carbohydrates in Bradley, Ill., to include a state-of-the-art Culinary Center that opened this July 2012.

The BIIC combines Bunge’s existing food ingredient innovation and pilot plant facilities with a new culinary kitchen creating one location for collaborative project innovation from farm to table.

"We improve products from concept through commercialization"


The newly expanded kitchen section of the BIIC features a foodservice grade presentation kitchen and preparation space, a conference room with interactive presentation capabilities and offers adjoining connectivity to Bunge’s bakery applications lab. The Culinary Center, decorated in a ‘rustic Mediterranean’ style, allows Bunge’s team of chefs to showcase Bunge’s latest product innovations, test new recipe formulations, facilitate cooking demonstrations, sample on-trend finished food products and even host customer hospitality events.

Previous facilities include a scaled-down version of an actual edible oil plant capable of creating shortenings, oils and other products used by food manufacturers, bakeries and restaurants as well as an extrusion pilot plant to test snack food and cereal applications made from milled grain products.

“In addition to supplying high-quality milled grain products,” said Brian Anderson, director, innovation and technical services, Bunge Milling, “we now have the ability to configure customer-specific extruded snack, cereal and ingredient applications on site.”

The new Culinary Center, says Bill McCullough, director of marketing, Bunge Oils, allows Bunge and its customers to serve new market segments. “We already work with customers servicing the restaurant/institutional marketplace, however the culinary facility elevates our service capabilities to a new level. We can build a bridge between the applications scientists and culinary experts from our Chef’s group to create new ideas for everything from foodservice establishments to the retail shelf.”

The full video conferencing capabilities enable a company’s entire decision-making team to participate in product application reviews or view the facilities’ capabilities, saving costs and time. “We can show them from a functional aspect as well as the technical side how well our ingredients work within their formulations to make them better,” says Dilip Nakhasi, director of innovation, Bunge Oils.

The BIIC also houses bakery applications, analytical and sensory laboratories to help ensure that test products meet the nutritional, performance and taste attributes or goals.

“Our Oil and Milling Experts team have created award-winning solutions in nutritionally superior and performance-enhanced food ingredients to address growing consumer concerns and national legislation,” said Nakhasi. “With the addition of the Culinary Center to the BIIC, our customers will be able to test how these solutions improve their existing products or up-and-coming products from concept through commercialization.” FFI

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