Officials from Mars open US$15m food safety research centre in China

Officials from Mars open US$15m food safety research centre in China

US chocolate group Mars Inc has opened a US$15m food safety facility in Huairou, China.

The Mars Global Food Safety Center aims to "raise global food safety standards through pre-competitive research and training", Mars said. "We believe that addressing food safety challenges will lead to better access, availability and nutrition, reducing food waste and increasing overall quality of life for generations of families around the world."

Mars hopes to work with academics, governments, NGOs and food sector peers to further food safety research at the site.

The centre will use "expertise" from over 60 partnerships Mars has formed to improve food safety. These include the World Food Programme (WFP), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), and the IBM/Mars Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain.

Mars said 95% of the pre-competitive research conducted at Mars Global Food Safety Center will be in the public domain.

Ahead of the official opening, David Crean, VP of corporate R&D at Mars, said: "The Mars Global Food Safety Center is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to advancing food safety research through collaboration and the pre-competitive sharing of information. We firmly believe that in order to ensure generations of families have access to safe and nutritious food, we must work together to evolve food safety management programs and create robust, sustainable supply chains."

Approximately 30 associates will work on food safety research and training at the site and there will be a variety of sabbatical positions open to academic and regulatory researchers. The facility will house analytical chemistry and microbiology laboratories, interactive training laboratories and a conference auditorium.