Chilean health minister Alvaro Erazo and Nestle CEO Paul Bulcke were among the leading figures who gathered today for the inauguration in Santiago.
Opened today, the new R&D centre will bring together experts from nutrition, engineering, product development and quality control, to develop ways of making products healthier.
This will entail work to reduce fat and sugar levels to make biscuits lighter, without compromising on taste or texture.
Research will also focus on developing biscuits with bioactive ingredients to improve digestive health, and fortified products tailored to tackle local micronutrient deficiencies.
By being based at Nestle’s industrial site in Maipú, scientists at the centre will be able to work alongside those involved directly in the manufacturing side of the business.
Researchers will also work with colleagues in other Nestle R&D centres around the world. The company has recently been expanding its research network, and in September last year it opened a chocolate research centre in Broc, Switzerland to inspire new formulations, product concepts and packaging designs in the luxury segment.
The Chilean centre will also become involved in local governmental initiatives and partnerships with universities such as the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the Universidad de Chile
“The research at this centre will provide exciting opportunities for innovation in a very important product category,” said Bulcke. “It will allow us to offer consumers in Latin America and beyond the choice of tasty, healthy, more nutritious biscuits.”
Latin America is major biscuit market for Nestle, accounting for 60 per cent of its global biscuit sales. In Chile, Nestle has been present for 76 years, and today has 7 production facilities in different parts of the country.