It is responsible for conducting microbiological and physicochemical analyses for the quality control of raw materials, packaging, finished products and environmental samples, said Nestlé.
The center is able to “detect and quantify genetically modified organisms in foods, a technique available only in a few laboratories in Brazil,” it said.
The center also makes composition analyses to assess the nutritional content informed on product labels, such as vitamins and other nutrients, added the company.
The KitKat maker noted the facility in Brazil, which is expected to increase its current analytical capability by 10%, is part of its global network of 24 quality centers.
About two years ago, the company expanded its quality center in Dublin, Ohio, with $31m, making it the largest one within its network in the world, ConfectioneryNews previously reported.
Nestlé said the Quality Assurance Center is its first facility in Brazil that received a LEED (Leadership Energy and Environmental Design) certification – “a reference in green building designs that take energy savings, carbon emissions and conscious consumption of water and other natural resources into account.”
Some of the sustainable materials that are featured in the building include anti-reflective coatings and roofs, low energy LED lamps and a cold-water cooling system, according to the company.
The advantages of Araras
Nestlé has been in Araras, the State of São Paulo, since 1921, when it opened its first factory in Brazil, according to the company. The region is now home to factories that produce soluble Nescafé and powdered chocolate Nescau.
"Araras has a Nestlé Brazil engineering hub, with a specialized team that contributes directly to Nestlé's entire production, development and innovation chain in the country,” said Luis Garcia, Nestlé Brazil's technical head.
The municipality is also the site of a Dairy Partners Americas unit (a Nestlé and Fonterra joint venture) for refrigerated product manufacturing, in addition to a distribution center, which employs more than 2,100 workers, added the company.
Nestlé said the operation would expand its business in Brazil and serve new markets in Latin America.