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Beneo, Morris Plains, N.J., opened a new Wanze, Belgium-based plant to manufacture vegetal protein. As the requests for plant-based proteins grows in North America and worldwide, the $5.5 million factory will serve more food manufacturing customers, the company says. Beneo also will be able to expand its textured wheat protein meat alternative ingredients with the capacity in this new plant, it adds.

At its new S.M.A.R.T. Center in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., Gold Coast Ingredients’ (GCI) savory research and development team has expanded its variety of tomato flavors. With an increased demand for the everyday tomato flavor, the GCI savory team developed an updated and more complex flavor profile range with such newly developed flavor profiles as fresh tomato, vine-ripened tomato, roasted tomato, fried green tomato, tomato paste, and tomato & herb. These flavors pair well with applications such as seasonings, snacks, sauces, salsas, beverages, and breads, the company says.

Jean Baker has joined Portland, Ore.-based Icon Foods as its quality control/research and development manager. In her new role, Baker will be building Icon Food Science, a program designed to help food and beverage manufacturers reformulate products for clean-label sugar reduction.

Downers Grove, Ill.-based Flavorchem Corp. unveiled a new logo and refreshed brand identity, symbolizing the company’s commitment to innovation, clean processing and evolution to better serve the changing needs of its local and global clients, the company says. Certain key elements of the original logo were captured into the new brand identity as a tribute to the company’s history and legacy, it adds. The new logo shows a strong green color palette representing its forward-thinking, global emphasis on natural ingredients and sustainability. In other news, the company is investing in a brand-new, state-of-the-art Innovation Center, set to break ground later this year. The new facility will include a modern test kitchen with the ability to conduct demonstrations on-site and remotely; sensory, flavor and applications labs; and a pilot plant boasting the latest aseptic equipment and other proprietary technologies, it says.

T. Hasegawa USA Inc., Cerritos, Calif., recently achieved organic certification under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) at its Cerritos, Calif.-based headquarters. Its Corona, Calif.-based facility already has earned this designation, the company says. Its certified organic flavors are a crucial extension of the company’s clean-label offerings to customers and enable it to partner with more organic projects around the world, thereby supporting organic practices, fair wages and economic development, it adds.

Clearwater, Fla.-based Monin Inc. announced that Vanilla Spice is the 2019 Flavor of the Year. While staying true to the nostalgic flavors of vanilla, Monin Vanilla Spice Syrup combines Madagascar vanilla with a warming blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom for a new and delicious flavor, the company says.

CP Kelco, Atlanta, is increasing its pectin production capacity at its Limeira, Brazil, facility by 10 percent. This added capacity is being driven by customers requiring nature-based ingredients. In Asia, for example, the company is seeing robust growth in drinking yogurts and low pH protein drinks, in which pectin is an essential ingredient for creating high-quality products. The investment will enhance market supply by the end of 2019, the company says.

Northbrook, Ill.-based Bell Flavors & Fragrances announced several staff promotions, including Khalid Akel to vice president of manufacturing; Noreen Lally to vice president of global regulatory; Christopher Warsow to director of culinary applications and corporate executive chef; Robert Barrera to senior principle technical scientist of flavors; and Robert Schmehil to project manager.