KALAMAZOO, MI — A global supplier that has stayed true to its Kalamazoo roots, The Kalamazoo Spice Extraction Company (Kalsec), is expanding once again with the opening of a new facility in Kalamazoo.
A leading producer of natural spice and herb extracts, colors, food protection and hop extracts for the food and beverage industry, the company celebrated the opening of the $10 million, 6,500-square-foot Don Berdahl Center for New Technology on Thursday, July 22. The facility is located on the company’s main campus in Kalamazoo, at 3713 W. Main St.
The facility was named in honor of Don Berdahl, who retired as the company’s chief technical officer in 2019, according to a news release from Kalsec.
“This new technology center is instrumental to Kalsec’s long-term growth strategy,” Kalsec CEO Scott Nykaza said in a statement. “We are honored to dedicate the space to Don’s legacy, which has made such a significant impact on our people, our purpose and our potential.”
Berdahl spent 25 years with the family-owned company, coming on board in 1994. His most recent role was executive vice president of research strategy and chief technical officer, where he focused on building Kalsec’s research strategy through business acquisitions and new technology.
An inventor of numerous patents, Berdahl led the commercialization efforts of various technologies at Kalsec, including rosemary extract for extending the shelf life of ground meat, zeaxanthin for eye health from orange paprika and advanced hops products for the brewing industry, the company said.
“This facility enables our internationally diverse team of scientists from multiple disciplines to develop more breakthrough natural solutions for the food industry at an even faster rate,” said Roger Nahas, Kalsec’s senior vice president of global research and development.
The space will allow resident scientists and visiting product developers to explore and test groundbreaking opportunities in green technology, biotransformation and natural ingredient production, as well as enable new product discovery, advanced application testing and process engineering advancements.
“Kalsec has invested over $10 million in the project, which will support deeper collaboration with its customers to deliver on consumer demands for natural and sustainable foods and beverages,” the release states.
The company, founded in 1958 by Paul H. Todd Jr. has been passed through generations of the Todd family and is currently run by Martha Todd, who serves as chair of the company’s board of directors.
Employing approximately 475 people, Kalsec operates regional offices, laboratories and sales teams in North America, Europe and Asia. Over 75% of the company’s employees are based in Kalamazoo.
For more information on Kalsec and to view career opportunities with the company, visit www.kalsec.com.