The Swiss food multinational, Nestlé, has hopped across the border into Germany to open a state-of-the art global centre for culinary research.This content was published on January 27, 2004 - 15:16
The inauguration of the centre in Singen was an opportunity for company CEO Peter Brabeck to stress that Nestlé was moving further into nutrition and "wellness".
“Nestlé is about to move away from its traditional role as a converter of agricultural raw materials to become in future a ‘health, nutrition and wellness’ company, in line with our motto: good food, good life,” commented company CEO Peter Brabeck at the official opening of the Product Technology Centre.
He said that Nestlé wanted not only to offer consumers good food, but also products with an added health benefit. Research and development therefore played a key role in this context.
“PTC Singen will drive this change in the culinary sector and in doing so, it will screen all the products from this sector for their nutritional content, improve them, and bring them into a new dimension,” Brabeck said.
Built under the guidance of Lausanne architects Richter and Dahl Rocha, the complex includes a production hall and a three-storey wing equipped with kitchens, laboratories and offices.
The centre is next door to the sprawling major Nestlé brand production site of Maggi but it will not only carry out R&D for the maker of stock cubes, but also for other group brands around the world, including Stouffer’s, Thomy and Buitoni.
Brabeck said the new centre, with its 150 staff, would become an “international turntable”.
“It will extend well-known German and European concepts to the rest of the world and vice versa, thus contributing to culinary diversity.
In spite of what anti-globalisation activists say, our aim is not global standardisation of food!” he commented.
“There is no global consumer, there are only individual consumers,” he added.
Centre of developments
Brabeck said that while the centre might appear peripheral seen from Germany or Switzerland, from an R&D point of view it was at the centre of developments.
He argued that with its researchers, the centre was well positioned to find answers to the pressing problems of the future of food, citing obesity as an example.
“PTC Singen will be in a position to develop food products with less fat and salt content, for example by replacing salt with herbs, but which nevertheless taste good.
“Let us not forget that with all due respect to health, the sensory properties - as well as taste and pleasure - are and will remain the essential characteristics of any food! ” he added.
swissinfo with agencies
Singen is one of nine Product Technology Centres within Nestlé’s worldwide research and development network.
Their mission is to transform basic scientific knowledge worked out at the Nestlé Research Centre in Lausanne into industrially manufacturable products.
In Switzerland, Nestlé has Product Technology Centres at Konolfingen near Bern (nutrition) and Orbe (coffee/cereals).
The Nestlé group, which is based at Vevey in western Switzerland, says it is evolving into a nutrition and health company.
It has just opened a Production Technology Centre in Singen, just across the Swiss border in Germany, which focuses on culinary research and the development of food products for children up to age three.
The centre’s researchers are behind a new generation of Maggi cubes, which use beneficial oils like olive or sunflower oil and higher amounts of vegetables or herbs.
Nestlé is introducing Thomy mayonnaise and dressings that are cholesterol-free.
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