Adani Wilmar, one of the largest soy producers in South Asia, has gained non-GMO soya lecithin certification, which it will use to provide the European food industry with 30 tonnes of the emulsifier per day.
The certification, by Cert ID Europe, means that it is one of very few Asian suppliers to produce soya lecithin at such a scale in accordance with Europe’s benchmark for non-GMO ingredients.
Three of the company’s five crushing plants—two in Madhya Pradesh and one in Maharashtra—are now certified as kosher, halal and non-GMO by Cert ID, following a major investment by Adani Wilmar.
Looking wider afield
The company’s non-GMO potential will not, however, be focused entirely on Europe because from January next year, Indian law will require all GM food to be labelled.
“Adani Wilmar’s certification means that it can now secure its position in India, while also accessing other GM-sensitive markets that require non-GM soy lecithin,” Richard Werran, managing director of Cert ID, told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Soya lecithin is the most widely used emulsifier in food production, and is historically sourced from North America, and more recently Brazil. However, the increase in genetically modified soy from these countries has meant that major European food companies, particularly in the confectionery sector, have looked to India for supplies of independently certified Non-GMO soy lecithin.
According to Werran, the increase in availability is also attracting broader food industry attention: “Australian and New Zealand food companies are considering how they may address increasing retailer and consumer worries about GM, and are wisely taking another look at what India can produce.”
Issues with sourcing non-GMO raw ingredients through traditional supply chains in North American and Brazil have seen European manufacturers looking for other options, and also sourcing from several countries.
“Adani Wilmar has risen to the challenge of meeting demand for quality soya lecithin from Europe by investing in production to meet volume and certification to meet quality requirements from a GM-sensitive market,” continued Werran, referring to the company’s production capacity of up to 6,000 tonnes per day for crushing, with refining capacity of up to 5,000 tonnes per day.
He added that these volumes are significant and could normally affect the supply-demand equation on the macro market. “But, with the upsurge in demand for non-GMO-certified soy and soy derivatives, it’s finding ready market prepared to pay premiums to secure quantities.”
Adani Wilmar’s Rahul Hirway said: “We have invested heavily in facilities and are now one of very few Asian suppliers to have such a massive production infrastructure. We have been able to respond to the needs of the European food industry with high-quality products, now backed by Cert ID Europe’s non-GM certification.”