Cargill has doubled the size of its food innovation center in Plymouth, the main research facility serving the company’s food and beverage manufacturing customers in North America.

Minnetonka-based Cargill spent $5.5 million on the expansion, which will result in a 40,000 square- foot facility with state-of-the-art research equipment.

Cargill will bring the majority of its North American food and ingredient research staff together in the remodeled innovation center, which opened this month.

 The agribusiness giant says the R & D center will be a “unique environment” where Cargill’s own researchers will work side-by-side with its customers’ staff.

“We designed a facility we believe will promote collaboration, accelerate innovation and help our customers reduce product development cycles,” Kerr Dow, Cargill’s vice president of global food technology said in a press statement.

The food innovation center will provide ingredient expertise in several food categories, including snacks, cereal, bakery, confectionery and frying applications.

It will include a fully-equipped commercial kitchen and a bakery applications center with a host of commercial baking equipment

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