SÃO PAULO, Brazil – The BRF Innovation center is now open for research and development, BRF (formerly known as Brasil Foods) announced June 20.

The center will support research into packaging, products and processing through modern laboratories, experimental kitchens and mini-plants for pilot production runs, BRF said. The former R&D centers for Sadia and Perdigao will operate out of the Jundiai center, and initially will be staffed by 150 workers, including engineers, nutritionists, pharmacologists, chemists and veterinarians. The facility covers 10,000 sq. meters, and cost the R$58 million ($25.9 million) to build.

"The Jundiai center will be a reference inside and outside the company both in the creating of new businesses as well as the solution of problems," said Nilvo Mittanck, vice president of Operations and Technology for BRF. "The aim is to gain time in developing the projects and in client servicing."

The complex is divided into four sections: breeding and research, application, experimental kitchens and sensorial analysis laboratories, according to the company. The new center will have testing facilities for in the form of specific mini-production lines for evaluation purposes.

"We now no longer need to depend on production units for undertaking tests," Mittanck said. "We shall be able to simulate large-scale production, project costs and test the parameters of processes and quality of the new products." The complex also has five experimental kitchens, which allows for sensorial testing, training, demonstrations and, principally, joint product development by BRF and its leading clients. BRF is a leading processor of beef, pork and poultry.