Cargill announced that it has opened a Culinary Experience Hub in its research and development site (R&D) in Vilvoorde, Belgium. Customers from across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region can visit the hub to learn and co-create new ingredients and recipes alongside Cargill’s food experts.
The facility features a bakery pilot plant, a regional frying center and a culinary tasting area with capabilities for dairy, beverage, bakery, convenience foods and culinary applications.
Vilvoorde is one of Cargill’s first culinary experience centers, the company said. The center specializes in R&D for new food ingredients and recipes. It has a professional chef who works with customers to either adapt existing products to evolving consumer demands or to develop new products from scratch.
“Imagine you’re a Cargill customer trying to identify the best ingredients for consumers. You could hear about an ingredient’s specifications and functionality and perhaps sample a prototype, or you could come to Cargill in Vilvoorde to co-create and taste a freshly prepared plate of food products like the consumer would at home or in a restaurant,” André van der Wulp, Cargill R&D leader in EMEA, said.
The Culinary Experience Hub houses a team of culinary experts and chefs who collaborate with customers to develop on-the-spot innovative solutions that specifically address the challenges and demands of consumers, van der Wulp noted. “Our quality products, combined with a dash of culinary creativity, help us and our customers come up with new, on-trend food solutions that don’t compromise on taste, quality and affordability.”
The Vilvoorde Culinary Experience Hub is located in Cargill’s European R&D Center, the company’s primary R&D center serving the EMEA region. It is closely linked to a network of innovation centers that provide R&D, applications and technical service support to customers around the world, which places the company in close contact with evolving trends in local markets, allowing customers to tailor products to local market tastes. The center in Vilvoorde employs more than 150 scientists and technologists.