Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited, is expanding the Bunge Ingredient Innovation Center (BIIC) in Bradley, Illinois to include a full service culinary center. The state-of-the-art facility includes an industrial kitchen and a corporate dining room with extensive video capabilities.

“As a leader in innovation for milled grain and edible oil products, this new facility reflects our continued commitment to providing our customers with a complete range of products and services,” Soren Schroder, president and CEO, Bunge North America, says. “The culinary center enables customers to take our award-winning food ingredients and either test how they improve their existing products or develop new recipes.”

With the addition of the culinary center, the Bunge Ingredient Innovation Center can now take products from creation to commercialization. Bunge’s team of 25 scientists who are located in the facility develop nutritionally-improved and performance-enhanced solutions to meet changing food industry trends. These products can be tested in a real-world manufacturing environment in the edible oils and extrusion pilot plants. Food companies can then test the ingredients in product formulations.

After products are developed, they can be tested and sampled in the bakery applications, analytical and sensory laboratories to ensure they met the nutritional, performance and taste attributes required.

“In addition to providing a hands-on experience for our customers, the new culinary center enables us to showcase the talents of our chefs through live product demonstrations and training,” Bill McCullough, director of marketing, says. “We can build a bridge between the
applications scientists and culinary experts from our Chef’s group to create on-trend menu items for foodservice as well as develop new product concepts that end up on the retail shelf.”

The general contractor on the project was d. katz equipment, LLC. With more than 35 years in the foodservice industry, the company specializes in the design and build of leading restaurants in the Chicago area.