VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle S.A. has invested 50 million Swiss francs ($53 million) in its first research and development center in Manesar, which is close to Nestle’s facilities in Gurgaon, India. The center, which will specialize in Asian noodles and Indian cooking, will focus on developing nutritious, affordable products in appropriate serving sizes for lower income consumers, the company said.

Researchers are expected to use local ingredients and culinary traditions to create new ideas for products.

“Our R.&D. center in India will help us gain important insights into local consumers’ eating habits and taste preferences, as well as greater expertise in using and processing local ingredients to develop products for India and beyond,” said Paul Bulcke, chief executive officer at Nestle. “As with all Nestle’s R.&D. centers, it will be part of our worldwide R.&D. network, enabling us to acquire local knowledge and use it on a global scale.”

Johannes Baensch, global head of research and development at Nestle, said the center will work closely with the company’s other R.&D. facilities across the world to uncover new opportunities for innovation and for the growth of the company’s business.

Nestle said its investment in India reflects a long-term commitment to strengthening its R.&D. capability in emerging markets. In October, the company announced plans to increase the number of R.&D. facilities it has in China from two to four by 2013.

In total, Nestle has 32 research and development centers worldwide.