In October, New York-based International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) opened two new facilities in China: a flavors manufacturing facility in the Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone, and a Natural Product Research lab, located in the Nanjing Life Science Park. Comprised of an order control system, quality control lab and an ambient warehouse for goods, the 66,800-square-meters flavors plant is the company’s second in China and is designed to supplement IFF’s existing flavors and manufacturing operations in Guangzhou. The 520,000-square-meter Naturals Lab, the first outside of the United States, is equipped with state-of-the-art systems for the research and development of flavors from natural sources. The lab is designed to expand the company’s capabilities in natural product research and address the accelerating consumer demand for natural and clean labels, it says.

Kerry, Beloit, Wis., released an interactive consumer preference simulator to supplement its latest white paper on sweetening agents, “Sensibly Sweet.” The proprietary preference simulator utilizes U.S. consumer research data to help industry professionals understand the consumer-preferred combination of three nutritional details — type of sweetening agent, calorie count and protein count — across six product categories. The simulator enables users to choose a product category and adjust the sweetening agent type, calorie count and protein level, for up to three product combinations to determine the most consumer-preferred combination, the company says.

Geneva, Switzerland-based Firmenich has appointed Emmanuel Butstraen as president of its flavors business unit and member of the company’s executive committee. He most recently served as president of Novecare at Solvay. At Firmenich, Butstraen will strengthen the group’s position as the innovation partner of choice in taste and nutrition as the company continues to shape the future of flavors, it says.

Liberty Health Sciences Inc., Toronto, has entered into an exclusive partnership with Boston-based AdaViv Inc., a hardware-enabled, predictive agriculture company, to improve production of cannabis at Liberty’s 360 Innovation Campus in Gainesville, Fla. AdaViv will integrate its adaptive Computer Vision software and Machine Learning platform into Liberty’s campus and the two companies will look to push the state-of-the-art technology and precision growing to new levels of productivity and efficiency, the companies say.