Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) is Japan's largest general trading company, with operations in 80 countries and comprising 500 group companies. The new company, expected to be established on August 1 under the name Mitsubishi Shoji Food Tech company, is a move that should allow it to pack a weightier punch in expanding in the food science arena. It will bring together the portfolio, customer base and expertise of Towa Chemical, which manufactures low calorie sweeteners like xylitol and maltitol, stabiliser manufacturer Chuo Foods, and MC FoodTech, which is involved in seasonings and preservatives as food additives. "As managerial resources are realigned and focused, MC hopes to realise the expansion and growth of its business in the field of food science," said the company. The over-rising vision of the management team is to become "a designer of taste". Heavy emphasis is placed on a business framework that allows materials to be developed to meet the specific needs of a customer. Ingredients firms are increasingly taking up tailor-made solutions, as food manufacturers are cutting down their own R&D budgets and expecting their suppliers to provide the know-how along with the actual materials. MC has also indicated that it will use the parent company's global networks to expand the reach of the various businesses on an international basis. It will be focusing particularly on going global with the sugar alcohols (sweeteners) business. Before the new company is established, MC will be doing some structural juggling over the status of the companies. Towa Chemicals will become a wholly-owned subsidiary, and Chuo Foods will be divested by its current parent company Chuo Kasei Co to become a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of MC.