With the new Cincinnati Development
Center, the previous issues concerning odors,
noise, temperature, humidity and furniture/
counter spills have been addressed. In the new
center, Mane is able to focus on having the
facility, technology and human assets align with
the company’s corporate vision.
“Our new facility provides a creative space
for Mane’s team to develop customized flavors
based on in-house consumer science,” says Jean
Mane, President and CEO of Mane Inc. “The
design allows developers from our customers
to join in the process from consumer panels to
This is possible because the environment is
designed to fully close the loop in the product
development cycle from creation, to consumer
testing and full-scale production. “Within the
Cincinnati Development Center, Mane fla-
vorists are now able to bring a creation to life,
show it to the customer and get consumer feed-
back,” says Jarc. “They can then go to the pilot
plant to see what it takes for full-scale produc-
tion—all within one facility, before handing off
Co-located within the facility on the sec-
ond floor are labs dedicated to different fla-
vors. While this went against the traditional
European norm of placing labs on the first
floor, the alteration saved money on ductwork
and allowed for more efficient layouts. It is also
expected to provide energy savings over time.
In addition, while each lab has some differences to account for specialized needs, all labs
were created with similar finishes, cabinets and
flooring and lighting controls (controlling a
mix of natural and artificial lighting). These
similarities will allow labs to be re-purposed as
business needs change over time.
Lab finishes proved to be an especially interesting challenge. “We needed countertops and
flooring that could handle the harsh chemicals that are present in some of the labs,” says
Hixson Senior Architect Bryon Sutherly, AIA,
LEED AP, who led the design of the project.
“Yet we also wanted them to be attractive and
stand the test of time.” Testing with the Mane
personnel allowed the team to zero in on a porcelain tile and quartz countertop that ultimately met all the needs.
An on-site, two-floor pilot plant, as well as
a show kitchen worthy of a celebrity chef, also
figure prominently in the design of the facility.
The pilot plant enables Mane flavorists to be
intimately involved with the process of scaling
up small lab batches to larger, production-size
batches; while the show kitchen allows Mane
personnel to make actual recipes using the new
flavors, and enables clients to experience what a
consumer would when working with the prod-
uct at home.
ENGAGING THE SENSES
Unlike traditional lab settings, which can
be variations on gray and white, the new
Cincinnati Development Center, with its distinctive look, engages the visitor with color and
sensory experiences that were not possible in
the previous facility. These include a zinc-pan-eled exterior and terrazzo flooring.
Yet engaging the senses is not just part of
the design; it is an integral component of the
work Mane conducts. “In today’s market people
want good food that tastes good and is better
for them,” says Mane. “These qualities do not
come easily as many of the functional ingredients which make foods healthy are also accompanied by unwanted flavors. Current sodium
reduction technology tends to make foods
less palatable, and reducing calories can leave
consumers feeling empty. Our sensory science
area allows us to validate the performance of
continued on page 28
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Donald Danforth Plant Science Center Expansion
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