ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, U.S. — Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), announced on Oct. 6 the opening of the Bunge Ingredient Innovation Center (BIIC) for Edible Oils & Carbohydrates in Bradley, Illinois, U.S. This center combines Bunge's food ingredient innovation and pilot plant facilities into one location.

"As a global leader in edible oils and milling, our customers trust Bunge to be the experts in developing the innovative solutions they'll need to meet future consumer demands," said Soren Schroder, president and chief executive officer, Bunge North America. "This state-of-the-art facility ensures we can quickly take our ingredient solutions from concept through commercialization."

The BIIC includes a scaled-down version of an actual edible oil plant capable of creating shortenings, oils and other products used by food manufacturers, bakeries and restaurants. The center also has an extrusion pilot plant to test snack food and cereal applications made from milled grain products.

"In addition to supplying high quality milled grain products, the BIIC puts us in position to provide our customers with a collaborative innovation environment," said Brian Anderson, director, innovation and technical services, Bunge Milling. "We now have the ability to configure customer-specific extruded snack, cereal and ingredient applications on site."

The BIIC also houses bakery applications, analytical and sensory laboratories to help ensure that test products meet the nutritional, performance and taste attributes required for a customer's finished product.

"Our team of 25 scientists and support staff has created an award-winning portfolio to address concerns about trans fat in shortenings as well as the need for whole grain products," said Roger Daniels, director, research and development, Bunge Oils. "With the BIIC, our customers will be able to test how these solutions improve the nutritional profile and performance of their existing products or work with our experts to develop new products."