US – Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM) has opened its US$3 million new North American microbiology laboratory at its specialty manufacturing facility in Decatur, Illinois.

Covering more than 4,600 square feet, the new lab expands ADM’s research, development, and testing capabilities, as well as its footprint in the Decatur community.

The new laboratory will be responsible for testing finished products in the North American region before their release to market, providing testing services to more than 25 ADM manufacturing facilities throughout the region.

The facility features testing equipment and technology, enabling ADM to conduct advanced in-house testing like kill-step validations for processing plants, including automation applications.

Yanyan Huang, global director for Quality Control at ADM, said the facility will also feature advanced automation and management systems.

She added that where the old lab facilities processed maybe 100 samples a day for testing, the new lab can process 200 or 300 and get that done much faster, leading to speedier turnarounds and happier customers.

Lee Perry, vice president of quality and food safety at ADM, commented: “We are very excited for this expansion because it enables greater innovation to unlock the power of nature to enrich the quality of life”.

“The development of this state-of-the-art laboratory directly aligns with our mission and vision to strive for operational excellence, partner with operations to provide testing solutions, and drive analytical performance”.

ADM outlines the key trends for dairy

Meanwhile, the Chicago- based food processor has identified eight key consumer trends across human, animal, and pet nutrition.

The trends include expanded protein choices, balanced wellness, proactive personalization, trust and traceability, social impact, earth-friendly production, and experiential eating.

In the findings, the company said almost half (49%) of global consumers claim to have adjusted their diet to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, and around a third (30%) have chosen to boycott a brand or product due to its ethical credentials.

Farmer and worker rights are also of growing priority, with 40% stating that they seek out brands that treat farmers and growers ethically.

In addition, the company has found that the percentage of flexitarian diets now stands at 52% with consumers who incorporate both animal- and plant-based diets or other alternative proteins forming a majority.

ADM highlighted that 42% of global consumers have become more trusting of environmental claims made by products and brands in the last two years, according to FMCG Guru’s data.

 This means companies need to do more to offer transparency about the regions and communities that grow the food that is being sold.

The company also pointed out a rising trend for unusual or exotic flavors that could be the target for yogurt manufacturers aiming to formulate a standout product.

ADM noted 70% out of 74% of global consumers who like new and unusual or exotic flavors, said they would like to see yogurt incorporate these new flavors.

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