Japanese ingredients company Ajinomoto is to open two new food research and development centres in China and the United States. The centres are positioned as branches of the company's existing Food Research and Development Laboratories.
The US centre will be located in Portland, Oregon at the current Ajinomoto Frozen Foods facility. Opened in July 2002, the centre's primary function is to provide a variety of technical assistance functions to other food product manufacturers. In addition, the centre will collaborate with universities and national research organisations to develop food processing technology and quality control procedures.
In China, the $2 million company is set to open in January 2003 and will operate as an independent company, Shanghai Ajinomoto Food Research and Development Centre.
This centre will also provide customers with technical assistance in the areas of product development, ingredient acquisition and supplier audits. Dr Tomoaki Hisatsuka, general manager of Ajinomoto Company's Food Research and Development Laboratories in Kawasaki, Japan, will serve as chairman of the new company.
In a bid to strengthen the research and development focus of the company, Ajinomoto is currently researching the possibility of building additional food research and development centres in other countries.