French colloid firm CNI has been recognised by the government as the best export agent of 2005, representing something of a coup for the Iranex group-owned ingredients business.
The award was presented by the French ministry of economy, finance and industry in the presence of delegate minister of foreign trade Christine Lagarde.
CNI (Colloides Naturels International) is a leading international manufacturer of acacia gum (Arabic gum). The company is present in more than 75 countries, has eight distribution subsidiaries and a network of 45 agents.
CNI exports almost 90 per cent of its production, and supplies some of the largest international food groups for applications in drinks, confectionery, dairy and nutrition. Acacia gum is an exudate from Acacia, harvested in the sub-Saharan region, which spreads from Mauritania to Somalia. It is used by the food industry for its nutritional and technological properties.
Characteristic properties of colloidal systems featuring acacia gum include high stability, inert behaviour, and independence from temperature, pH value or other influences as well as taste-neutrality.
CNI processes the gum at its factory in Serqueux, France, before exportation.
The Rouen-based company has also been looking to extend its product portfolio to protect its 50 per cent share of the refined gum market. For example, the firm recently launched Encapcia, a 100 per cent GMO-free acacia gum, that it claims is 'the ultimate in encapsulation' for sensitive and volatile products.
The product is claimed to have enhanced emulsifying properties with superior film-forming capacity. Applications include spray drying citrus oils, mint oil, Omega 3 oils, bacteria, vitamins, and colorants.
The French ministry of economy, finance and industry prize is awarded each year on the basis of criteria such as the percentage of turnover from exports, infrastructure, subsidiaries and distribution networks abroad. Customs statistics and growth in terms of turnover are also taken into account.