Cargill has started production of two new xanthan gum products out of its facility in China, after implementing technology transfer from France and ensuring quality and safety standards meet requirements.
The agri-foods giant has previously produced all its xanthan gum line at its facility in Baupte, France. It entered into a joint venture in China in 2003 over the plant in Zibo, but took full ownership of it in July 2006.
This allowed it to take control of all operations and implement the necessary standards for the production of food ingredients. Previously, the bulk of the material produced in China was for non-food uses.
Now Cargill is in a position to produce food ingredients in China, it has significantly more capacity available on a global basis. The Zibo plant has three times the capacity of the Baupte plant, Fabrice Bohin, business director for hydrocolloids at Cargill Texturizing Solutions told FoodNavigator-usa.com.
Bohin declined to comment on how much of this is being utilized at the moment.
The new xanthan gums being made in Zibo are called Satiaxane CX 800 and CX 801. The main market for these is expected to be the US, as well as Eastern Europe and Asia.
"Implementation of Western technology into China has been quite a challenge to be effective," said Bohin.
Cargill has also had to carefully select its raw materials, so as to ensure quality, functionality and food safety standards are met.
This, he added, has only been possible after the completion of the acquisition of Degussa's food ingredients business, also in 2006.
Bohin explained that before the Degussa acquisition Cargill was already involved in xanthan gum, but for non-food uses.
Degussa, meanwhile, was "more of a niche player in xanthan" - number seven in the market.
The combination of capabilities has propelled Cargill into the top three for the ingredient, Bohin said.
Cargill is presently developing other bio-gums that will be produced at its China facility and Bohin said these "will roll out soon".
Satiaxane CX 800 and CX 801
The two new xanthan gum products that Cargill is launching are said to be an extension of and a new generation of the current Satiaxan CX range. Comparable products are produced in France, said Bohin.
However while the China plant meets EU GM labelling requirements, hard IP (identity preserved) certification, as often required by European customers, does not exist in China.
The Satiaxane xanthan gum CX 800 product is described as a 80-mesh product that stabilizes, suspends, thickens and improves texture. Suitable application include dressings, sauces and mayonnaise, frozen and other desserts, dairy, fruit preparations, bakery products and meats.
CX 801 product, on the other hand, is fine mesh and said to offer "rapid rehydration for instant foods".