The centre, first established in 2011, is aimed at developing nutritional products for tackling common health issues in Indonesia, such as stunting and anaemia.
The newly expanded centre has been added with four facilities, namely a pilot plant, a product development and raw materials laboratory, a sensory laboratory, and a packaging laboratory.
The additions will allow the firm to independently perform product prototyping simulations.
This will range from scientific and technological insights to clinical studies for safety and efficacy, product development, packaging and sensory studies until the prototyping is ready for industrial scale production.
Adding an onsite pilot plant will also allow the firm to support the prototyping of new products for other markets in the region, in turn, boosting the efficiency of product innovation process.
“The expansion of this facility will help us put research and innovation front and centre, to ensure a well-rounded approach to developing products locally.
“Having the centre in the same location as our operations and manufacturing site will also enable us to more easily conduct in-depth research, gain insights directly from consumers, and accelerate product testing and production, while ensuring the quality of our products meet international standards,” said Beneace Steffens, Research & Innovation Director of Danone Nutricia-Sarihusada.
Nutrition problems in Indonesia
Stunting and anaemia are some of the most common health problems seen in Indonesians, according to data from the National Basic Health Research.
The prevalence of stunting amongst Indonesian children under the age of 5 is 31% in 2018.
On the other hand, anaemia is becoming more common in pregnant Indonesian women.
The rate of prevalence of anaemia in pregnant Indonesian women had increased from 37% in 2013 to 49% in 2018.
Children aged under 5 years are also facing a higher risk of anaemia.
Indonesia a key market
According to Danone’s H1 report released late last month, Indonesia is one of the key markets for its early life nutrition portfolio.
The relaunch of Bebelac infant formula powder in Indonesia was seen as a main contributor to the firm's growth in Asia.
Besides Indonesia, the firm’s early life nutrition business also saw a positive growth in China after three quarters of decline.
It explained that the sales growth in China was supported by social e-commerce and the good execution of development plans, especially in the low tier cities.