Pectin footprint expansion: Cargill to invest US$150 million in new Brazilian HM pectin plant

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24 Aug 2018 --- Cargill has revealed plans to invest US$150 million to construct an HM pectin production facility in Brazil. HM pectin is a versatile, citrus fruit-based texturizer used for jams, beverages/juices, acid dairy drinks and confectionery. The intended project is part of a comprehensive plan to strengthen Cargill's full pectin footprint, including improvements to its existing three plants in Europe (Germany, France and Italy) and adding a new plant in Brazil to take advantage of local resources.

Tentative plans aim for construction of a new state-of-the-art facility in early 2021, Christine Nicolay, Global Communication Director at Cargill Starches, Sweeteners & Texturizers tells FoodIngredientsFirst. “Currently, the project is in its planning phase so we will provide more information in due time,” she notes. She stresses that Cargill aims to expand to be a significant and sustainable player in the pectin industry.

Bruce McGoogan, Strategy and Innovation Leader for Cargill Starches, Sweeteners & Texturizers business says: “The pectin market has seen a strong growth for several years, primarily driven by the acid dairy drink market, as well as the growing global consumer demand for label-friendly ingredients. HM pectin plays a significant role in delivering on both trends – as it is a plant-based texturizer designed for acid dairy drinks as well as for jams, beverages and confectionery products. The intention to invest in a plant in Brazil, which has an abundant citrus fruit supply, allows Cargill to deliver the pectin our customers need and consumers demand.”

“For several years the pectin market has been growing by 3-4 percent,” stresses Nicolay. “This is mainly driven by a strong growth in the acid dairy market and the growing global demand for label-friendly ingredients in various applications,” she adds.

“Adding an industry-leading pectin asset in Brazil will complement Cargill’s existing European network and create the capacity to serve our customers around the globe with premium pectin ingredients,” says Laerte Moraes, Managing Director of Cargill’s Starches, Sweeteners & Texturizers business in South America. “The intended investments also illustrate Cargill’s commitment to its employees and the economies in both Europe and Brazil through job growth and financial contributions. The intention is to start construction early 2019.”
 
Operating in Brazil since 1965, Cargill is one of the largest food companies in the country. Headquartered in São Paulo, the company operates in 17 Brazilian states through its industrial units and offices in 191 cities with more than 10 thousand employees.

Cargill Starches, Sweeteners & Texturizers processes corn, wheat, seaweeds, fruit-peels, sunflowers, rapeseed and soy to manufacture a comprehensive collection of value-added ingredients dedicated to the food & beverage, papermaking & corrugating, pharmaceutical, and animal nutrition industries. Their portfolio includes sweeteners: glucose syrups, glucose-fructose syrups, dextrose, low-caloric polyols and zero calorie stevia-based sweeteners, starches: native, functional, modified, maltodextrin) lecithins (fluid, de-oiled, fractionated and modified), carrageenans, pectins and biopolymers (xanthan and sclerogucan).

In terms of further expansion within the texturizing field, Nicolay notes to FoodIngredientsFirst: “Cargill is always in the process to advance and develop its businesses. Texturizers and Specialties are key for food processing so we keep a close focus on this area. We will inform the markets when new projects come to fruition.”

Pectin is being sought after as a more label-friendly texturizer amid the current market dynamics. Just this week, Brenntag entered a new collaboration with Silvateam for the exclusive distribution of pectin in US and Canada. With a 160-year-old history in plant-based extracts, Italy-based Silvateam produces products used in a large range of applications such as food, beverages, and animal health and nutrition. Now Brenntag North America has been appointed the exclusive distributor in North America for the distribution of the Silvateam pectin line: Aglupectin.

By Robin Wyers

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