Danisco's research centre in Brabrand, Denmark was the meeting point on September 10-11 for a group of international researchers focusing on Asian eating habits and the latest food trends. Consumers in the western world eat a great deal of food that is either partially or completely prepared by the food industry and the tendency is really starting to take hold in Asia now as well. So the market for Danisco's ingredients is growing. The Danish food ingredients company Danisco had an 18 per cent increase in sales in Southeast Asia in 2000/2001, and Asia as a whole is expected to become the company's biggest market. Changing eating habits and increased growth in Asia are the reasons Danisco organised the seminar that will help the company keep its finger on the pulse and stay up-to-date on the latest food trends. At the seminar at Danisco, Dr. Leong Lai Peng of National University of Singapore said that over 70 per cent of the residents of Singapore "snack" four to eight times a week, mostly at food stalls but also at cafés and restaurants. Snacking means eating small, fast meals during the course of the day, often in place of real meals. In addition, many busy Singaporeans would prefer to eat at home if there were tasty, food-industry prepared meals available. And food ingredients make it possible to preserve the taste and texture of a dish from the time it leaves the manufacturer until it is placed on the consumer's dinner table. Principal Consultant Choon Nghee Gwee of Pacific Food Consultancy, SDH BHD, talked about a popular Chinese trend. Choon Nghee Gwee predicts that soymilk and soy drinks in general will win even more territory. One reason is that soybeans have a positive effect on health as the protein-rich drink helps reduce the risk of cancer, can prevent osteoporosis and can help guard against heart disease. Principal Consultant Choon Nghee Gwee predicts that soymilk and soy drinks in general will win even more territory. During the last 10 years, many new brands have appeared in China, but quality is often unsatisfactory. Soymilk can taste strongly of raw beans and be uneven in texture. Danisco has already researched how to make soymilk with good texture and a refreshing taste and can provide the ingredients to the enormous Chinese market. Hans Elbek Pedersen, Vice President, Innovation, Danisco expresses great satisfaction with the event: "It's been two inspiring days. We are already present in Asia, the market is growing and we're focusing on it strongly."