Univar Solutions, Downers Grove, Ill., announced that Los Angeles-based Axiom Foods Inc. has chosen Univar as its preferred U.S. distributor. The agreement includes the complete line of Axiom Food’s rice and pea proteins and other plant-based ingredients, which commonly are found in nutritional beverages, bars and snacks, the company says.

FutureCeuticals, Momence, Ill., announced that its Research and Analytical Center (RAC) is certified under ISO/IEC 17025:2017. As an ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited laboratory, FutureCeuticals RAC has demonstrated itself to be technically proficient and able to produce precise and accurate test and calibration data, ensuring confidence and quality in products, according to the company.

In June, Martin Bauer opened a new state-of-the-art application lab in Secaucus, N.J. It’s designed to serve as a creation center for the company’s customers, who are invited to the facility to develop unique tea/botanical based food- and beverage-concepts with Martin Bauer experts, the company says. The company also announced that it will be opening its first United States’ manufacturing site in Bethlehem, Pa. One of the key offerings will be Strong Infusions, a new ingredient designed for real-brewed beverages, the company says.

To help maximize growth, PureCircle, Oak Brook, Ill., announced enhancements to its commercial team. Alina Slotnik was appointed vice president of global marketing; Eric Emmerick as vice president of customer service and supply chain; and Dave Gallagher as vice president of key accounts.

Tarrytown, N.Y.-based GNT Group, has developed a range of blue powders derived from spirulina with significantly higher color intensity than previous versions, the company says. Available in both standard and micronized powder form, the new EXBERRY high intensity blues are offered with a choice of carriers including maltodextrin or sugar, it adds. Food and beverage manufacturers can use the new powders to formulate products with high intensity blues from a natural and traceable source — and at reduced doses, according to the company.

Firmenich, Plainsboro, N.J., announced a new strategic partnership with ArtSci Biology Technologies, taking a minority equity stake in the leading local flavor company in China. Building on Firmenich’s distributor agreement of ArtSci, the investment will further expand the group’s reach across Central and Western China’s middlemarket where ArtSci strongly is established, the company says. Headquartered in Hangzhou, in the Zhejiang province, ArtSci specializes in dairy and beverages and is known for its agility and speed in servicing mid-sized customers, it adds.

Northbrook, Ill.-based Bell Flavors and Fragrances’ Vice President of Marketing Kelli Heinz recently was inducted into the FEMA (Flavor Extracts Manufacturers Association) Board of Governors. In her new role, Heinz is responsible for fostering a comprehensive environment in which the flavor industry can create, innovate and compete, the company says. Heinz joins 13 other governors in helping to shape the future of the flavor industry, it adds.

Melanie Gong was named account manager of citrus ingredients at Citromax, Carlstadt, N.J. In her new role, Gong will help build relationships with existing customers, expand ingredient sales across the United States market, build Citromax’s brand awareness within the ingredient segment and promote the company’s product portfolio and new ingredient developments, the company says.

To commemorate its 50th anniversary, Bartek Ingredients, Stoney Creek, Ontario, is celebrating with a series of investments in its brand, facilities and leadership team. Officially launched at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Food Expo, the company’s new logo demonstrates its transformation, it says. Maintaining its historic purple color to pay homage to its entrepreneurial roots, Bartek’s logo now includes a logomark representing its people, products, processes and customers, it adds. The company also launched a revamped website, bartek.ca, to better serve its customers.

In response to consumer demand for natural food, Diana Food, Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., expanded its range of clean-label ingredients. The new portfolio of natural solutions is made possible through advanced agronomy programs, local sourcing near Diana’s facility in Silverton, Ore., and the expertise of Diana chefs and application experts, the company says.

After two years, Gelymar S.A., Santiago, Chile, announced that its $15 million capacity expansion program is complete. Product capacity now is doubled and ranges as much as 10,000 metric tons of product, the company says.

Hilmar Cheese Co. Inc., Hilmar, Calif., entered into an agreement to sell its Turlock milk powder facility to California Dairies Inc. (CDI). The asset sale agreement allows both parties to begin due diligence in preparation to complete the transaction. The sale is part of Hilmar Cheese Company’s new Strategic Plan 2021 announced last month. The Plan’s three strategies focus on people, operational excellence and delivering products and solutions that “wow” customers, it says.

The Flavor Extracts Manufacturers Association (FEMA), Washington, D.C., has issued GRAS (generally recognized as safe) approval for Vitosa natural flavors, a new line of stevia products from HB Natural Ingredients, Irvine, Calif. Vitosa natural flavors are designed to provide unique flavor modification properties that can be used to impart, enhance or modify the flavor profile of a wide range of food and beverage products. Vitosa beverage applications include carbonated soft drinks, juices, energy and sports drinks, flavored water and dairy products.