Musim Mas Group launches its first R&D and innovation facility in Singapore

Novel IDEAS Center will focus on delivering innovation in the application of palm oil in F&B

Alvin Lim, Director, Musim Mas Group, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Chee Hong Tat, EK Lim, Director, Musim Mas Group, Douglas Leong, General Counsel, Head of Legal, Musim Mas Group, Sam Appalasami, Head of Functional Products and Novel IDEAS Center.


Singapore, 24 October 2019 – As an integral part of its global strategy, Musim Mas Group announced the official opening of Novel IDEAS Center, a S$10 million R&D and Innovation facility situated in the heart of the Singapore Science Park. Novel IDEAS Center will be Musim Mas Group’s first R&D and innovation center launched in Singapore.

This facility will focus on developing new solutions for using palm oil-based functional blends and specialty fats to address different needs across the food and beverage industry. This facility will also create new concepts and formulations to stay ahead of emerging F&B trends and tap into new market opportunities. With a workforce of 37,000 employees over 13 countries, Novel IDEAS Center is expected to add to Musim Mas Group’s Singapore headcount and synergize with Musim Mas Group’s two other laboratories in Indonesia.

“Singapore is an ideal location for our first international R&D and innovation facility, given its status as a regional innovation hub, strong logistics infrastructure, and a ready pool of talent and expertise in food technology,” said Sam Appalasami, Head of Functional Products and Novel IDEAS Center. “Novel IDEAS Center will act as an important link between Musim Mas and our customers to bring innovation closer to the marketplace. The work we do here will translate to state-of-the-art solutions for the food industry, such as healthier baked goods, dairy alternatives, tastier chocolate using cocoa butter alternatives, and more.”

Occupying 666.02 square meters of space, Novel IDEAS Center is divided into three application labs, one analytical lab, and a sensory room. It is expected to add more than 20 staff to the Singapore headcount with the bulk being scientists and food experts.

The three application labs will each focus on different areas of research:

  • Confectionary Lab:  focuses on the use of specialty fats and emulsifiers in applications such as chocolate molding, coatings, fillings, spreads, and candies.
  • Bakery and Asian Food Lab:  focuses on the use of Musim Mas functional blends in food products such as breads, sponge cakes, steamed buns and noodles.
  • Dairy and Frozen Desserts Lab:  focuses on the use of specially-selected Musim Mas emulsifiers and stabilizer blends for dairy beverages, dairy alternatives, and frozen desserts such as soft serve ice cream and frozen yoghurt.

The Analytical Lab will provide insights into properties and behavior of food products that use Musim Mas specialty fats and functional blends. By collecting data from relevant foods, Musim Mas is able to monitor product quality and safety, meet market requirements, and test the viability of new formulations and concepts.

In the Sensory Room, testers can sample food that has been prepared in the R&D center. The Sensory Room utilizes technology that measures different senses such as sight, smell, taste, and touch. Testers can then give their feedback to Musim Mas on how to further improve recipes.

“Musim Mas is one of the only few palm oil companies capable of extracting innovation value out of a facility like Novel IDEAS Center,” said Sam Appalasami, Head of Functional Products and Novel IDEAS Center. “We operate globally, and across the entire palm oil value chain, from plantations to downstream applications. This gives us an unparalleled control over the supply, cost, and quality of raw materials to pour into our R&D and innovation efforts.”

“Innovation is key to the continued growth and sustainable development of the Singapore economy,” said Mr Dino Tan, Director (Family Businesses), Singapore Economic Development Board. “We are delighted that Musim Mas has chosen Singapore to locate its new Novel IDEAS Center, which will enable the company and its customers to co-innovate new and exciting products targeted at the Asian palate. We hope to continue working with Musim Mas, and other like-minded companies, to strengthen the R&D and innovation ecosystem in Singapore.”


Musim Mas Group is one of the leading global palm oil companies with its headquarters in Singapore and global operational presence in 13 countries. The Group is involved with every part of the palm oil supply chain, from upstream oil palm plantations to midstream and downstream operations, to marketing and sale of value-added products globally.

With sustainability as a core value, we were the first company with major operations in Indonesia to join the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil in 2004. We are also the first Southeast Asian company to produce palm oil according to the high standards for responsible palm oil established by the Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG).

Carolyn Lim
Corporate Communications
[email protected]
+65 6576 4770