BakeryandSnack Chat Podcast: Cargill’s million dollar investment aims to accelerate bakery launches

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Cargill, Edible oils, shortening, R&D, Bakers

Cargill has invested $6.4m to expand its North American Pilot Development Centre in Savage, Minneapolis, to assist bakery customers increase their speed-to-market with new products.

The expanded facility complements Cargill’s Minneapolis Research & Development Centre and its Food Innovation Centre, allowing the edible oils business to conduct multi-scale, continuous piloting of applications from refining new vegetable oils and blends, to creating innovative shortening solutions for breads, cakes and cookies.

BakeryandSnack Chat Podcast

We chat to Sonia Punwani, global bakery category leader for Cargill’s edible oils business, to find out how bakers can really make the most of this opportunity.

Ingredients for confectionery products and infant nutrition will be piloted at the site as well.

Continuum of innovation

“Expanding our piloting capabilities will help us deliver more quickly what matters most to our customers,”​ said Florian Schattenmann, chief technology officer of Cargill.

“It allows us to better partner with our customers to evaluate new raw materials, validate performance specifications and develop new products through a distinctive continuum of innovation services all located within the Twin Cities.”

The 6,500-square-foot facility will feature:

  • A refinery pilot plant to create new oils and blends using the latest technologies to produce shortenings that have enhanced functionality for specific customer applications;
  • A  fats and oils crystallisation centre to process shortening, important for ensuring the right textures in newly designed products; and
  • A lab equipped to rapidly analyse key fats and oils quality parameters.

Construction of the facility – which is positioned adjacent to Cargill’s Engineering R&D Lab – is expected to be fully operational by late summer 2020.

“Our expanded pilot facility and our Food Innovation Centre together will allow us to more quickly respond to customer requests for samples and test their performance in bakery products,”​ said Sonia Punwani, global bakery category leader for Cargill’s edible oils business.

“This is a big step forward for us to support bakery innovation with the combination of science, customer intimacy, and market insights.”

The North American Pilot Development Centre joins Cargill’s network of pilot and food innovation facilities, including its European Research and Development Centre in Vilvoorde, Belgium; the Asia Innovation Centre in Beijing, China; and the Cargill Innovation Centre in Singapore.

 The global presence allows the company to customise regional solutions.

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