The flavour and fragrance business of Carbery, Synergy has a portfolio of savoury ingredients and sweet and savoury flavours. It has existing production, R&D and technical facilities in Europe and the US serving its global client base. For some time it has devoted resources to developing the Asian market, but while identifying "huge potential", Steve Morgan, commercial director, said there is a big gap between the needs of local producers and European food processors, which are increasingly exporting back to key retailers. Synergy can help with this, since it understands European needs such as clean label declaration as well as flavour profiles. He told FoodNavigator.com that one of the aims of the Thai technical centre is to service the needs of both, thereby acting as a bridge. The level of investment in the centre has not been disclosed. "By investing in local resources we are able to respond to the requirements of both [local producers and global manufacturers] in a timely manner". One area in which manufacturers have problems is in sourcing raw materials on a local basis for the European markets. And by having a base in the region, the company expects that it will be able to respond to local manufacturers' needs more quickly and effectively - and offer localised pricing. Morgan said that with the support of local personnel, the technical centre also aims to service local markets such as Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia with local market knowledge. "As our support and services grow with the market needs, our aim is to expand our knowledge of the local markets and profiles rather than viewing continents as generic markets." When operating across several markets, companies need to be particularly aware of the taste preferences of consumers from different countries or cultures. A prime example of this is with cheese profiles, said Morgan. Whereas fairly mild cheese is favoured in Thailand, the European market favours mature cheddar and blue cheese profiles. "These are difficult to accept and understand locally, which is where Synergy's knowledge can help support development and manufacturing," said Morgan. Preferences notwithstanding, Asian manufacturers will a have access to Synergy's entire portfolio, including Saporlait premium cheese ingredients, Saporesse flavour enhancers, and specialist vanilla products. Dairy ingredients giant Carbery established Synergy in 2005, bringing together two flavour and fragrance interests it acquired in 1998 and its own brewer's and lactic yeast-based flavour production. The brief of the business is to tap growing demand for added-value products, and provide a one-stop-shop for manufacturers. Synergy's most recent significant investment was completed at the end of last year: a €5 million production facility in Ballineen, Ireland to meet growing demand for a number of its value-added ingredients.