The companies are opening a collaborative space designed to support the innovation of next-generation, protein-forward foods from concept to commercialization.
ADM (NYSE: ADM), a global leader in human and animal nutrition, announced the signature of a joint venture agreement with Marel, a leading provider of advanced food processing solutions, to build an innovation center in the heart of the Netherlands food valley at the Wageningen Campus. Subject to regulatory approvals, the center is anticipated to open in the second half of 2024.
With customer collaboration at the core, this innovation center is designed for food manufacturers to work alongside food scientists, extrusion experts and culinary professionals to prototype, manufacture and market new alternative protein products, as well as leverage pilot plant production with novel processing techniques.
“This center is another example of our continued investment in expanding alternative protein innovation that will help meet the needs of a growing global population,” said Allyson Fish, president of global alternative proteins for ADM. “Over the last year, we’ve expanded our European-sourced non-GM soy in Serbia, announced significant expansion of alternative protein production in the U.S., and entered into a strategic partnership with Benson Hill to scale and commercialize an innovative ultra-high protein soy protein.
“Partnering with Marel is another important step as we advance protein innovation for the EMEA region and beyond. We’re committed to meeting customer needs and powering continued profitable growth as we live our purpose by supporting a secure and sustainable global food system,” continued Fish.
Through the center, ADM and Marel will offer a wide range of opportunities, including trainings and workshops, to inspire next-generation solutions with exemplary sensory experiences, ultimately supporting the increasing consumer demand for a variety of protein offerings.
“This taste and texture-focused innovation center will further strengthen our customer-centric approach in new, emerging market segments,” said Jesper Hjortshoj, vice president of business development at Marel and president of Wenger (a subsidiary of Marel). “Our long-standing relationship with ADM is the foundation of this partnership, and with our downstream processing capabilities, the center will use equipment from Marel and Wenger, enabling unique innovation and creation from raw ingredients, through the extrusion process, right up to finished products.”
Until the opening of the new taste and texture innovation center in 2024, ADM will occupy a temporary laboratory in the Plus Ultra II building, within the grounds of the Wageningen Campus to support customer development projects.