Wilmar’s research and development (R&D) activities support our business operations by improving manufacturing processes, ensuring the consistency and enhancing the quality of existing products as well as developing new innovative products. Our R&D work is carried out by scientists and researchers in various locations worldwide, including Singapore, China, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. In line with the Group’s integrated and sustainable approach, our R&D teams engage in cross-border collaborations as well as with external organisations to share knowledge and resources to enhance the collective R&D effort.

In 2021, our R&D teams focused on the following areas:

Environment & Sustainability

  1. Future-proofing our production processes by shifting to clean and green technologies has been a priority for Wilmar in recent years, especially in the areas of chemical manufacturing, production of food, feed and consumer goods. We strive to produce sustainably and reduce our environmental impact by focusing research activities on the application of micro-organisms and enzymes as biocatalysts to replace traditional chemical processes:
    1. Improve solvent tolerance and thermostability of enzymes for biodiesel and specialty fat production.
    2. Develop in-house immobilisation process to prolong enzyme’s shelf life and improve thermostability.
    3. Optimise Pichia pastoris strain for improved production and stability of recombinant enzymes.
    4. Engineer enzyme for enzymatic synthesis of biosurfactant.
    5. Develop enzymatic degumming and interesterification technologies to reduce waste water and gases from the cooking oil production process.
  2. Develop plant-based ingredients to reduce the use of animal-based products in the food industry:
    1. Launched a variety of plant-based meat products in China and planning to develop more plant-based Chinese dishes in 2022.
    2. Develop plant-based seafood analogues, hybrid products (meat and plant-based blends) and plant-based fat tissue mimic.
  3. Explore the efficiency of black soldier fly larvae for biomass and feed meal upcycling and valorisation.
  4. Develop green analytical technologies that reduce or eliminate the use of toxic chemicals and that can be applied in real time.
  5. Launch aromatic rice bran oil which is produced using a new fractionation process that improves the yield and quality of the oil.
  6. Develop a more efficient and cost-effective method to remove toxic substances from peanut meal.
  7. Develop a new process of waste oil recovery and regeneration for spent bleaching earth.
  8. Molecular assisted breeding and clonal propagation of oil palm focusing on the identification of high yield and Ganoderma tolerant palm.
  9. Commitment to sustainable packaging by Goodman Fielder:
Goodman Fielder implemented cardboard bread tags in Australia and New Zealand as part of its sustainable packaging initiative.
  1. Praise Mayonnaise, Praise Whole Egg Mayonnaise and Praise Aioli jars are manufactured using 100% Australian recycled plastic material. In addition, all bottles, jars and lids are recyclable. This initiative will eliminate the usage of 380 tonnes of virgin PET each year.
  2. Commercialisation of cardboard bread tags in Australia and New Zealand. This initiative will prevent the use of 326 million plastic tags, equivalent to 120.7 tonnes of polystyrene going to landfill each year.
  3. Meadow Fresh was the first milk manufacturer in New Zealand to include the use of recycled high-density polyethylene (rHDPE). Meadow Fresh 1L and 2L milk now use 30% rHDPE in each bottle, eliminating the usage of 250 tonnes of virgin HDPE each year.


  1. We are focusing on improving the health and well-being of individuals through these initiatives:
    1. Conduct nutritional trials and microbiome studies to understand the effect of diet interventions on prediabetes, ectopic fats accumulation and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (a form of fatty liver disease).
    2. Develop ready-to-eat frozen meals that are of high-plant components or nutritionally controlled.
    3. Formulate oil blends that are healthy and suitable for long-time frying.
    4. Develop an analytical method that allows the identification of exotic fats in breast milk that are essential for infant’s healthy development and can be used in infant formula milk. 
    5. Develop a blended oil that improves blood sugar metabolism and boosts immunity.
    6. Develop a plant-based butter substitute with 30% higher polyunsaturated fatty acid content. It received the “New Food Material Innovation” award at the 23rd Bakery China 2021 awards.
    7. Develop a series of baking fats with 50% lower saturated fatty acids than traditional baking fats, using the oleo-gel technology.
    8. Expand noodle product range with healthier options such as fortified noodles, fermented buckwheat noodles and multigrain noodles that aim to control blood sugar.
    9. Improve shelf life of wheat products with technology upgrades while maintaining their nutritional profile.     
    10. Reformulate Goodman Fielder’s Wonder range of breads by increases in fibre and reductions in sodium levels, resulting in an improvement in the Australian Health Star Rating from 4 to 4.5 (out of 5).


  1. Food quality and safety testing covers the whole process of raw materials acquisition, production, processing and transportation. We have developed a series of rapid detection technologies for oils and grains by combining artificial intelligence and spectroscopy technologies, such as:
    1. Big data analytics model for checking of oil adulteration.
    2. Identification of rice seed adulteration in contract farming.