Cargill and AKV Langholt boost potato starch production with $22.5m investment

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30 Jan 2018 --- In a joint venture, Cargill and its Danish potato starch partner, AKV Langholt AmbA, are investing US$22.5 million (€19 million) in a new potato starch production unit at their Langholt facility in Denmark. The plant expects to start operations in mid-2018.

“This investment demonstrates Cargill’s commitment to providing our food manufacturing customers the functional native starches they need to meet the demand of today’s label-conscious consumers,” says Simon Waters, global food starch leader, Cargill.

“Consumer demand for products made with familiar, trusted ingredients is increasing rapidly,” said Waters. “However, these ingredients must also stand up to the diverse processing conditions of modern processing. We understand these competing needs and are using state-of-the-art processing techniques make label-friendly starch solutions a reality.”

In an interview with FoodIngredientsFirst, Laura Goodbrand, EMEA starch product manager for Cargill Starches, Sweeteners & Texturizers says: “Potato starch is a really exciting texturizing ingredient. Potatoes are interesting for Cargill because they allow us to develop new connections with our customers, this investment will really take off in terms of the opportunities available in our customer markets and in particular, in Europe, where potato has a positive label declaration and consumer appeal.”

“The partnership with AKV Langholt AmbA has been ongoing for thirty years and the plant in Denmark is in a very nice location for the growth of potatoes. Our job with AKV Langholt AmbA is to work with the potato farmers to give them back the best they can get, from the products that they produce, and bring good value products right into the market. Cargill is responsible for commercializing the right products and helping them to get the right processing developments to ensure they can be successful while growing their raw ingredients,” she explains. 

“The potato starch market is very important to us, we have a smaller footprint than other players in the market but we are certainly aiming to grow that.” No specifics were revealed in terms of capacity, but the move will give a “good amount of additional growth for this particular raw ingredient.” “It will become an even bigger opportunity for us to differentiate once again and offer a new scope to enter into markets, with clean label starches that our customers are asking for,” she adds.

Potato starches produced at the new facility expand Cargill’s SimPure portfolio of functional native starches. SimPure starches feature ingredients from a variety of botanical sources, providing food and beverage manufacturers access to the recognizable, simple ingredients consumers demand, while achieving necessary process tolerance, retail shelf-life and storage ability.

SimPure is an evolving range of functional clean label starches. “Watch this space for further developments as we are hoping to expand that brand even further so it will be a product range that you will still see around in the coming years,” says Goodbrand.

“The ingredient market is always vibrant, everyone is always looking for new and interesting ways to differentiate themselves and reinvent themselves in some cases and also to meet the needs of the consumers so for Cargill, it’s really about selecting the right areas and the right opportunities for growth. This particular investment in Denmark is really part of a key strategic opportunity for starch and Cargill Texturing Solutions as a whole,” she notes.

“Our key target application areas we are indeed focusing on are predominantly convenience and meat manufactures, basically those who see potato ingredients as having a really positive commercial style for consumer recognizability and also consumer relevance,” Goodbrand states. “When we make our soups at home we can thicken them with potatoes and so it’s a logical ingredient for these types of scenarios, such as making convenience foods more adaptable and easy to use in solutions. Equally, for meat manufactures, potato as a granule, holds much more water in terms of shelf-life stability, so for meat manufactures looking for a better water holding solution, potato is an exceptional option.”

“It’s a clean ingredient, people see it as a clean ingredient and it will make the end product label simple,” she adds. “The good thing about potatoes is that they have no taste or odor so can be used very well in many applications,” Goodbrand concludes. 

This latest investment broadens Cargill’s starch portfolio, which includes native, functional native and modified starches. Each starch line is designed to enhance the texture and stability of everyday foods including batters and coatings, pudding powders, dry mix soups and sauces, processed meat, bakery mixes, ready meals, creamy spreads and fillings, salad dressings and pet foods.

By Elizabeth Green

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More than simply a food ingredients supplier, Cargill deeply understands our customers' strategies, consumers, distribution channels and competition. We deliver solutions that help the food industry and beverage manufacturers drive growth through new product innovation and reformulation. Cargill helps reduce costs through supply chain and manufacturing process efficiency and managing commodity price risk. Cargill helps our food industry and beverage manufacturing customers create unique products that fill product pipelines and reduce time-to-market by connecting our diverse food ingredients supplier capabilities — marketers, research scientist, application experts, risk managers and manufacturing process engineers — and seamlessly delivering these resources to customers. As a service and solution-oriented food ingredients supplier, our broad portfolio helps our customers address their food product development needs across the spectrum of applications and categories. Cargill helps our customers safely manufacture products every day around the world by reliably originating and distributing grain, oilseeds and other food ingredient commodities and by processing a diverse food ingredients supplier portfolio that spans core and specialty ingredients, ingredient systems and finished food systems.

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