The new facility is a partnership with Xi’an Jiaotong University’s School of Life Science and Technology which is based in the city of Xi’an and is the latest of a series of university tie-ins Nestlé has established since it opened its first Chinese research and development centre in Shanghai in 2001.
“The new laboratory partnership with Xi’an Jiaotong University strengthens Nestlé’s scientific commitment to China, which already includes a number of research collaborations with 14 different Chinese scientific institutions,” the company said.
It will focus on researching links between nutrition and tradituional Chinese ingredients and “metabolic health” issues such as obesity and diabetes.
“This new endeavour will enable our scientists to work alongside academic scientists and students from the university to help develop nutritional solutions for metabolic health issues such as diabetes,” said Peter van Bladeren, Nestlé science and research director.
"It will allow us to continue working with the scientific community to share expertise and to really understand consumers’ needs.”
Nestlé Outstanding Student Prize
As well as Van Bladeren becoming an Adjunct Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong University, the new arrangement also rewarded young scientists with the Nestlé Outstanding Student Prize.
PhD student Zhihui Feng was the inaugural winner for a series of peer-review publications and work in establishing the University’s Institute of Mitochondrial Biology and Medicine.
Nestlé sells seven million products per day in China, of which 90 per cent are manufactured locally.
Its Chinese R&D operations are part of its global research network whose headquarters is the Nestlé Research Centre at its Lausanne, Switzerland, base.
In its recent annual meeting the company’s management stated its goal to expand into developing markets and it is throwing a lot of capital at Africa with projects planned in Kenya, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Zimbabwe this year.