The new building, next to the ingredients company’s European headquarters in Marckolsheim, France, will include analytical laboratories, a large pilot hall and facilities for sensory research.
Syral’s ingredients portfolio includes starches, sweeteners (glucose syrups, dextroses, maltodextrins and polyols) and vegetable proteins.
A spokeswoman for Syral told FoodNavigator.com that the centre would bring R&D facilities under one roof to make it easier to meet customers and work with them on product development, trials and on presentations about new product concepts or improved products.
She added that the centre was scheduled to open late spring this year and it followed Syral’s acquisition of part of Tate & Lyle’s European starch ingredients business in 2007.
The spokeswoman said: “With this acquisition we have increased our operations capabilities.
“We have many customers who were previously supplied by Tate & Lyle so we want to provide something more.
“Our strategy is development. We want to increase innovation.
“I think the building of this application centre is proof that we are increasing our capacity in innovation from the application point of view.”
Equipment in the pilot hall will cover a range of food applications, from confectionary and bakery to convenience food and meat, as well as dietetic products.
Syral said it will focus on customer-oriented research and development which will enable the company to develop new and improved products that meet consumer requirements.
The company also announced it will be enlarging its technical support team to assist customers in industrialization and problem solving.
The centre can be used for ingredients across its portfolio range including areas such as fibre enrichment, protein enrichment and texturing properties. However, there is a focus on sweeteners.
Anne Wagner, vice president innovation at Syral, said: “The pilot and laboratory facilities will be open to our business partners in order to develop innovative sweetener formulations or to rework existing ones, specifically but not exclusively aiming at nutrition and health claims, which have been our main research topic for the last two years.”
Syral has a pro forma turnover of €930m and claims to be the third largest producer of glucoses and other starch-based sweeteners in Europe.
On October 1st, 2007, Syral finalised its acquisition of five Tate & Lyle production facilities, having obtained the approval of EU competition authorities.
It now owns six production sites: Marckolsheim, Nesle (France), Aalst (Belgium), Greenwich (UK), Saragossa (Spain) and Saluzzo (Italy).