Nestle expands Singapore R

Swiss-based global food giant Nestle said Wednesday that it had expanded its research and development operations in Singapore, amid robust Asian market growth.

Nestle said that it invested almost 4.0 million Swiss francs (3.2 million euros, $4.1 million) to extend its research facility, and would this year add 20 jobs to the current team of 100.

The group's goal, it said in a statement, is to "allow greater focus on its fastest-growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region".

The Singapore centre, which employs experts from 17 countries, specialises in fields including mechanical engineering, analytical chemistry, microbiology and sensory science.

It is to take the lead in Nestle's global development of its Nescafe coffee and Milo powered milk brands.

"One of R&D Singapore's main objectives is to ensure that nutrition and health are integral considerations in new product development," said Johannes Baensch, Nestle's head of research and development, in the statement.

"This will include new formulations and formats, as well as reducing sugar, salt and fat in our products, without compromising taste," he said, adding that the products developed were tailored to meet local tastes in different markets.

The Singapore centre, Nestle's first in Asia, was opened in 1980.