Part of the investment plans include the launch of a new line of noodles to cater for the trend towards healthier, more nutritious food. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman and chief executive officer of parent company Nestle SA, said part of the investment is for an innovative instant dried noodle line with air dried technology, which will deliver heath benefits to consumers. "This breakthrough technology, which air dries the noodles instead of frying them, can reduce fat content by more than 60 to 80 percent, depending on recipe," he said. "Sodium content is also significantly reduced by about 25 percent." He said the new line will be sold in Malaysia, as well as exported to other markets in the region, including Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. The Sham Alam production complex, the regional manufacturing centre, will be upgraded as part of the investment plans. Brabeck-Letmathe said that Malaysia is an important part of Nestle's global business, particularly in the manufacture of halal products. "Nestle Malaysia has the distinction of being both the largest producer of halal products and the Centre of Excellence for Halal within the group," he said. As part of the investment plans, Brabeck-Letmathe also said that Nestle was currently investing about RM4.5 billion annually in research and developmen. Nestle estimates that 1.3m packets of Maggi instant noodles are sold in Malaysia, with its population of about 26m, each day. The company employs over 3,500 people and manufactures, marketing about 300 Halal products in Malaysia. The Nestle group has 481 factories in 87 countries and 265,000 employees worldwide.