TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Ai Zhi Wei drink company and the Food Industry Research and Development Institute (FIRDI) announced a partnership to develop plant-based milk products at a research center in Chiayi County on Friday (Oct. 27).
The signing event for the Plant Milk Research and Development Center was attended by Chiayi County executive Weng Chang-liang (翁章梁), who said the research center will boost Chiayi’s economy and help Taiwan develop competitive and sustainable supply chains, reported UDN.
Ai Zhi Wei, which is owned by the Nice Group, already produces some plant-based milk products, notably a range of oat-milk drinks, available at most Taiwanese convenience stores. The company hopes to harness its expertise in the drink market alongside FIRDI’s plant scientists to produce healthy, plant-based milk products for the world.
Chen Kuan-han (陳冠翰), chairman Ai Zhi Wei, said the company has been producing plant-based milk for 15 years. The company hopes to integrate and enhance its drink manufacturing technology to meet emerging trends.
The plant-based milk industry was valued at approximately US$10.1 billion (NT$328 billion). The market size is expected to grow by around 10% annually, said Chen.
The Plant Milk Research and Development Center is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and its initiative to drive innovation in key developing industries. Reports indicate the goal of the research center is to enhance Taiwan’s supply chain for the manufacture of plant-based drinks from raw, and semi-processed agricultural products.
Another major goal of the center will be to use biotechnology to create nutritious milk substitutes that are high in protein.