Nestle has extended an R&D centre in Switzerland amid growing demand for infant formula and healthcare products.

The Swiss food giant is building a spray drying tower, installations for “wet mix” processing and extra production lines for powdered products at its “product technology centre” in Konolfingen.

“The new extension facilitates continuous innovation of our product portfolio in different Nestlé businesses – infant nutrition, dairy, beverages, Nestle Professional and Nestlé Health Science,” a Nestle R&D spokesperson said. “The demand for projects has increased over the years, especially in the areas of infant nutrition and healthcare nutrition.”

Nestle has had an R&D site at Konolfingen for 40 years. In 2011, it spent CHF200m (US$209.8m) opening a production unit at the facility.

The investment will support Nestle Health Science, a division that seeks to build a third way between nutrition and pharmaceuticals.

For the first six months of 2012, Nestle Health Science reported double-digit sales growth in both North America and emerging markets.