Firmenich and IFF open high-tech facilities to speed product development

Firmenich and International Flavors and Fragrances both opened new facilities dedicated to bringing technology to food ingredient development this week.

Firmenich’s new Taste & Beyond Pilot Plant opened in Anaheim, California. The company said the plant has a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment and capabilities that are designed to help new products get to market faster by preparing them for scaled up production.

The international ingredients company said the plant is part of its commitment to help provide healthier and more sustainable food for consumers. 

“The food & beverage industry is quickly evolving globally, and at an even faster rate here on the US West Coast. This sheer pace makes speed to market absolutely critical,” Sherry Xian Linert, vice president of Firmenich West Coast Ventures, said in a written statement. “I’m excited to leverage our West Coast Innovation Center and new Pilot Plant, combined with our expertise in plant-based proteins and nutrition products, to work with customers on rapid prototyping. Together, this powerful combination enables us to help customers innovate quickly to win in a highly competitive market.”

Switzerland-based Firmenich established a dedicated business unit in California five years ago. Last March, the company unveiled its West Coast Innovation Center, also in Anaheim, California. This space, the company said, was designed as a collaboration space to work with customers on rapid innovation.

Beyond this new plant, Firmenich has had an active summer. In June, Dutch chemicals giant Royal DSM announced it would be merging with Firmenich. The deal, worth roughly $21 billion, is expected to close in the first half of 2023.

IFF’s new Culinary Design Center for plant-based food also opened this week in Brabrand, Denmark.

This facility was also designed for companies to work with IFF on rapid prototyping, aiming to shorten the time from ideation to commercialization, the company said. The facility includes a pilot manufacturing site for plant-based food and a studio for livestreaming and performing remote sensory tests.

IFF’s new facility is part of the company’s Re-Imagine Protein Innovation Program, which the company started in 2017. This program was designed to create technology that could help set IFF’s work apart across multiple categories and applications.

“This demonstrates IFF’s commitment to making bigger and bolder bets on where the market is heading,” then-Flavors Group President Matthias Haeni said in a 2017 statement about the program.

IFF has recently been investing in similar facilities to enhance innovation across the world. Last month, the company announced it was spending $15.8 million on innovation centers in São Paulo, Brazil; Bogota, Colombia; and Santiago, Chile.