Mizkan Americas has opened a new R&D center at its manufacturing facility in Lake Alfred, Florida, where it intends to work with food companies on developing new products containing its wine reductions, cooking wines, specialty vinegars and denatured spirits, the company has said.
The new facility adds nearly 2,000 square feet of space, including a large laboratory for pilot scale manufacturing, and a wider variety of formulation and blending. The new facility is intended to improve the speed at which companies can bring new products to market, as well as formulation capabilities, and will mean that the company no longer needs to outsource its R&D and product development, the company told FoodNavigator-USA.
Craig Smith, president of Mizkan EuroAmericas said in a statement: “We’re excited to expand our R&D capabilities and to continue accelerating our company’s growth.”
The new Florida facility will employ about 50 full-time staff, the company said, managed by Dr. Esmond Joseph, a food scientist with more than 25 years’ experience in industry R&D, including working with sucralose and starches. Dr. Joseph previously has worked at Best Foods/Unilever, McNeil Specialty Products, Campbell Soup Company, Cargill, and Morgan Foods.
The company also highlighted its two steam jacketed kettles at the plant and “the newest technology in analytical equipment to measure and validate the continually increasing demand for quality assurance within the food industry”.
Last year, the Illinois-headquartered company expanded its range of balsamic vinegars for use in applications including marinades, dressings, sauces, soups and prepackaged meals, as it looked to tap into trends in the culinary world. The company said it had seen an 11% rise in sales of its balsamic vinegars from 2010 to 2011, and expected the trend to grow further as manufacturers continue to look to restaurant menus for new packaged food concepts.