Japan-based food group Ajinomoto is to build an umami seasonings plant in Thailand to meet what it claims is growing demand in Asia for the ingredient.

Ajinomoto announced today (4 November) that it plans to spend THB5.39bn (US$181.5m) on the site, which is scheduled to be complete by 2013.

Umami is an ingredient in Ajinomoto’s seasoning products it sells to consumers and to processed food manufacturers.

The company, which had already decided to up its production of nucleotide seasonings in Thailand, said the combined investments would stand at THB24bn.

“These capacity expansions will enable Ajinomoto to meet increasing demand in Asia and other parts of the world, as well as to deepen its presence in growing seasonings markets overseas – and expand into new regions and business areas to further strengthen its overseas food products business,” the company said.

The umami factory will be based in Thailand’s Ayutthaya province and will employ around 150 staff.