Ingredients group DSM has set up a North American center of technical support for its Savory Ingredients business, designed to bolster its technical strength within the region, the firm announced last week.
The newly created 'Center of Excellence' is part of an overall strategy to establish regional centers around the world offering technical equipment and services.
Located in Belvidere, New Jersey, the new laboratory is designed to support the growth of DSM's global yeast extract business by providing customers with 'business building solutions', said the firm.
Historically, most of the Dutch group's technical strength has been concentrated in Delft, Holland. But a strategic initiative over the past few years has seen the firm establish a number of regional 'centers of excellence'. These currently include a center in Singapore, which serves Asia Pacific, one in Shanghai for the Chinese market, and one in Chile's Santiago for Latin America.
"The shift has been towards being able to provide immediate knowledge and application competence specific to customer needs within a region," said Otis Curtis, DSM Food Specialties Savory Ingredients business development manager.
"We're not dealing with a commodity that simply requires a technical sheet to complete a sale. It's necessary to have a knowledge of applications and local tastes, and be abele to work with customers to meet their needs," he told FoodNavigator-USA.com.
As well as providing regional centers of excellence, the firm's technical locations are also designed to integrate different business units as appropriate, allowing for a consolidation of facilities.
The new center in Belvidere, for example, integrates DSM's Food Specialties Savory Ingredients technical facilities and staff into its existing Nutritional Products site. According to the firm, this allows it to leverage the strengths of both organizations in a single location.
Leading up to this integration, DSM is in the process of closing its Food Specialties location in Eagleville, Pennsylvania, a move due to be completed by February 2007.
"This is part of an ongoing strategic effort to integrate DSM Nutritional Products and Food Specialties' resources where possible to realize synergies between the businesses," said Curtis.
The total technical service and application scientists in Belvidere across the two businesses is around 13 with another 10 analytical support staff.
From this new location, DSM said its Savory Ingredients team has initiated several proprietary projects with leading universities in various fields of food science.
"This will continue to provide new information and opportunities for the application of yeast extracts," said the company.
The facility includes conference rooms and laboratories, for on-site work with customers. DSM said the facility, located one hour from the Metropolitan New York area, is available for customer visits, Savory 101 and Umami training sessions, trend driven application presentations and joint application projects.