Tue, Apr 09, 2019 - Page 14 News List

I-Mei Foods celebrates 85th anniversary, plans entry into biotech and coffee
義美八十五週年 將搶攻生技與咖啡市場

I-Mei Foods Co general manager Kao Chih-shang, Pingtung County commissioner Pan Men-an and Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-chung, left to right, display locally-produced red beans at a news conference in Pingtung County on Feb. 12 last year.

Photo: CNA

I-Mei Foods held a “peace of mind and thanksgiving”-themed news conference last month to celebrate the company’s 85th anniversary. I-Mei Foods Co chairman Kao Chih-shang and his brother, general manager Luis Ko expressed gratitude to customers for their support, saying the company feels proud and confident as the brand celebrates this key milestone. The brothers said I-Mei’s goal, ever since its inception, has been to stay true to the brand and be worthy of the Taiwanese and the country.

Kao said that rapid progress toward digitization and computerization, in addition to ever-worsening environmental problems around the globe, are common challenges that we must all face up to. Kao said I-Mei has been on a mission for the past several decades to develop its business in a way that advances development in agricultural biotechnology. The goal is to extract all the natural nutritional value from pure raw materials, to make products that are both safe and beneficial to consumers. Progress in agricultural biotechnology will be the new breakthrough that propels the company forward for the next 100 years, Kao predicted.

Kao also revealed that I-Mei has in recent years been actively cooperating with hospitals, universities and the Academia Sinica, and has even been working with the world’s preeminent food manufacturer, Nestle.

Food and medicine essentially derive from the same source, and I-Mei has more recently expanded into health care and the biomedical industry. Ko says “simplicity” and “peace of mind” are values that continue to exist at the core of the company, and says the reason for I-Mei’s move into health care and the medical industry is because the company observed a number of issues relating to food supply and the environment and wanted to develop breakthrough solutions.


1. anniversary n.

週年(zhou1 nian2)

2. brand n.

品牌 (pin3 pai2)

3. agricultural biotechnology phr.


(nong2 chan3 sheng1 ji4)

4. raw material phr.

原料(yuan2 liao4)

5. breakthrough n.

突破點(tu2 po4 dian3)

6. health care phr.

保健(bao3 jian4)

7. biomedical industry phr.


(sheng1 yi1 chan3 ye4)

In addition to focusing on agricultural biotechnology and biomedical science, at the news conference the brothers also announced I-Mei will be turning its attention to coffee in the near future. The company hopes it can carve out a niche within the global coffee industry, which is estimated to be worth up to US$43 billion.

(Translated by Edward Jones, Taipei Times)









What is biotechnology?

Biotechnology is an area of biology which harnesses living organisms to develop or manufacture products. Modern uses include the use of microorganisms to clean up contaminated land or the manufacture of biodegradable plastics and biofuels.

Biotechnology is in fact nothing new: the making of beer and bread both involves a fermentation process which uses live yeast — microscopic fungus that reproduce, and are able to convert sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Biotechnology is also used in health care. Perhaps the most famous example is the discovery of the mold Penicillium in 1928 by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming. Other scientists built upon Fleming’s discovery, purifying the antibiotic compound formed by the mold to develop penicillin — the world’s first antibiotic, able to destroy bacterial infections within the human body.

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