Olam Spices & Vegetable Ingredients Unveils Its Global Tomato Innovation Center

Fresno, Calif., June 15, 2011– At the start of the 2011 tomato processing season, Olam Spices & Vegetable Ingredients opened the doors to its new Olam Global Tomato Innovation Center in Lemoore, Calif. The first of its kind, the Center serves as a resource to the company and its customers to incubate ideas, generate solutions to product opportunities and develop new concepts and processes. Olam Spices & Vegetable Ingredients uses the highest quality tomatoes to produce conventional and organic paste and diced tomatoes, industrial tomato blends and tomato based finished products for consumers.

“As a leader in the tomato industry, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest-quality, most innovative products and  serving as an extension to their operations with meaningful support tools and resources,” said Christoph Rudolf, President US, Olam Spices & Vegetable Ingredients. “Our Global Tomato Innovation Center is the nerve center for enhancing and evolving our tomato business and adding value to our customers’ businesses.”

Equipped with a state-of-the-art kitchen and staffed with R&D resources and food technologists, the Olam Global Tomato Innovation Center is designed to create new developments in product, process, packaging and nutrition of tomato goods. The Olam Innovation Team will work closely with global customers to create value for their specific applications and needs. To lead the Olam innovation efforts, Siva Subramanian joins the Olam Spices & Vegetable Ingredients team as Vice President of Research & Development and Quality from Olam’s global headquarters in Singapore.

The Center is consistent with the company’s commitment to sustainability. It houses Olam’s T.A.S.T.E (thermally accelerated short-time evaporation) evaporator, which significantly reduces tomato exposure to heat, reduces resource and emissions footprint and emits three tons less CO2 per 100,000 lbs. of paste produced.  Olam is the only tomato processor in the US to operate a T.A.S.T.E. evaporator, which preserves a brighter color and fresh flavor of the tomato fruit and subsequent paste.