National Starch breaks ground on texture center

by Eric Schroeder
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BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — National Starch Food Innovation on Sept. 21 broke ground on its "Texture Center of Excellence." The new building, scheduled to be operational in 2008, will help support the company’s expanding efforts in texture.

"Our research shows that, compared to flavor, texture is clearly an under-exploited dimension in foods," said Joseph Light, senior director for customer solutions and product innovation. "We see tremendous opportunity to work with customers to optimize texture in food systems as a means of creating superior customer satisfaction and competitive advantage. Our goal, as a specialty ingredients company, is to create a unique group of capabilities that coalesce into what we call a ‘Texture Center of Excellence.’"

The center will work to encourage innovation and new product development, provide for creative collaboration with customers and support National Starch’s programs to meet the industry need for texture understanding and control.

The center will be housed at National Starch’s headquarters in Bridgewater. Features will include a focus group room with observation area, a computerized descriptive analysis room, a culinary kitchen, isolated testing booths and client meeting rooms. The facility also will have equipment with instrumentation to conduct texture characterization and to speed the pace of development. Additionally, clients that are unable to travel to the facility for sensory or consumer testing will still be able to participate through the Internet.

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