VILVOORDE, Belgium—Cargill inaugurated its newly expanded European Research and Development Center in Vilvoorde, which is the company’s primary technology center serving Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company invested €8 million to update the center with the highest technological and food-safety standards to better serve customers across different applications covering the entire spectrum of food and feed ingredients.
The R&D Centre now features a new state-of-the-art pilot plant, adding 5,000m² of innovation space where Cargill’s 145 scientists and technologists can develop new ingredients, perfect reformulations and test new manufacturing processes. Special attention was paid to food-safety principles during the expansion.
“Food safety is one of our most important goals at Cargill. This is why we implemented the zoning model in our new pilot plant, to not only meet today’s standards in food safety, but also to anticipate future needs," said Marijana Petrovic, Cargill’s R&D Center food safety leader. “The prevention of contamination is a fast-moving discipline, and Cargill wants to be at the forefront in this field, so that we can provide safe food every time, everywhere. This includes the products produced in our research and development facilities and product samples provided to our customers."
The investment also reinforces Cargill’s commitment to continued, sustainable growth through innovation and highlights the importance of the Vilvoorde R&D Center for the company.
“We have come a long way since the first research was done on this site in 1965. Back then the research focus was mainly on starch and starch-related products," said Jean Simons, site director of the R&D Center. “After subsequent expansions in the 80s and 90s, and the acquisition by Cargill in 2002, the R&D Center gradually matured into what it is today: a multidisciplinary centre covering the entire spectrum of food, feed and non-food ingredients science."