SACRAMENTO -- Really, how many food products can you make with almonds?
Not nearly enough, according to officials of Blue Diamond Growers, which on Thursday formally opened its 6,500-square-foot Almond Innovation Center amid its sprawling complex of buildings in Sacramento.
The center is intended to lead Blue Diamond's efforts to develop new almond products. The company also laid down a welcome mat for global food companies that want to explore the potential benefits of almond products worldwide.
Mark Jansen, president and CEO of the 103-year-old Sacramento-based cooperative, called the facility "the world's only research center dedicated to designing cutting-edge almond products."
Working in comparatively humble labs, Blue Diamond research and development workers have been developing almond products that previous generations might have considered unlikely -- everything from nondairy beverages to Blazin' Buffalo Wing-flavored almonds in a can.