ofi expands facilities and capabilities of Ingredient Excellence Centre in Malaysia

The expansion will see new laboratory spaces dedicated to customising application solutions in beverages, bakery and frozen dairy desserts to suit the needs of customers

ofi has increased its ingredient manufacturing footprint by adding significant capacity to its dairy production facility in Johor, Malaysia with the commissioning of a new milk powder dryer, whilst also expanding its integrated dairy Ingredient Excellence Centre (IEC), servicing customers across the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

A Shekhar, CEO of ofi, commented: “This is a milestone moment for the business. Expanding our innovation infrastructure in Malaysia spotlights our bold ambition as we continue our journey to become a more solutions-led, customer-centric organisation. With increasing demand from our global customer base, we will continue to explore growth opportunities within dairy ingredients that drive additional focus on the value-added capabilities within our portfolio. These enhanced facilities are a key part of this, complementing our existing global footprint, supporting greater collaboration with our customers and helping us achieve our Purpose to Be the Change for Good Food and a Healthy Future.”

The enhancements to the Johor processing facility’s capabilities will more than double the production volume of functional dairy ingredients and fat filled milk powder made per year, in turn enabling ofi’s customers to formulate innovative applications at scale. In addition, the expanded IEC has new laboratory spaces with research and development equipment dedicated to supporting customers seeking a novel and cost-efficient approach to application solutions in beverages, bakery and frozen dairy desserts.

Through working in close collaboration with its Singapore Customer Solutions Center and integrated across its global network of 15 innovation centers, the IEC’s new capabilities enable ofi to better collaborate with brands, grocery retailers and foodservice companies to create their next delicious and nutritious product for consumers.

The new facilities also complement ofi’s existing global footprint, driving stronger partnerships with its customers and strengthening its co-creation capabilities across the region. Importantly, this aligned approach will drive further focus on ofi’s high-growth end-use categories – with ready-to-drink beverages, premixes and blending lines forming part of the wider service offering – along with its signature Lactorich range of dairy solutions, transforming the way consumers experience this healthy and nutritious product. A standout example from this range being Lactorich Vers, specially designed to replace whole milk powder in a wide range of applications. By providing a rich, creamy mouthfeel and a clean profile, this solution offers optimal value in helping customers create better dairy products with no added flavours.

Sandeep Jain, managing director and CEO of dairy at ofi, commented: “The demand for nutrition-rich functional dairy ingredients continues to grow at pace, particularly across the Middle East & Africa. Building on our strategy to provide localized, customized food and beverage products that will appeal to local customers, the expanded capabilities in Malaysia enable us to co-create products that are focused on health, taste and convenience. Furthermore, the expanded plant has been designed around food safety and operational excellence. This includes an automatic and ergonomic raw material feeding system and an advanced depalletizing system, ensuring consistent product quality.”

This focus enables ofi to deliver on its customer service model to provide the support, knowledge, and high-quality ingredients required to launch products that delight consumers, Jain said.

“When combined with our research and development experts at the Singapore Customer Solutions Center, our global network of innovation centers and ofi’s wider portfolio of ingredients such as coffee and cocoa, we can now offer customers in the region even more exciting innovation-led opportunities,” he said.

Sustainability is also a central component of the plant design. It uses solar power, rainwater harvesting and operates at a high efficacy rate with strong energy and water consumption practices, with close to zero raw material wastage.

Facts and statistics on the Malaysia plant:

  • Plant inauguration attended by YB Lee Ting Han, Johor State Investment, trade and consumer affairs committee chairman;
  • New operations include enhanced spray drying capability delivering world class standards and providing customized dairy solutions;
  • ofi has created 70 new jobs, adding to its existing highly skilled positions at the Plant.