A Cargill subsidiary has won the distribution rights for trehalose in Europe.
The agreement positions Cargill Health & Food Technologies (H&FT) as the sole distributor of its Ascend brand of trehalose in Europe.
Trehalose, one of the most recent multi-functional food ingredients on the market, is produced using a patented enzyme conversion and crystallisation process from Japanese company Hayashibara.
The European Commission gave this multi-functional sugar a novel food status in September 2001, giving food technologists the all clear to use it in a range of food products, including chocolate, sugar confectionery and bakery products.
Trehalose, found in mushrooms, honey, lobster and shrimp, is a naturally occurring non-reducing disaccharide composed of two glucose molecules linked by an a 1-1 bond.
"Cargill's focus on the European market shows our increased commitment to providing our customers with versatile ingredients," said Ted Ziemann, president Cargill H&FT. Adding that the agreement "allows us to expand our geographic presence and leverage our resources".
The company claims that its Ascend trehalose has the ability to stabilise proteins and enhance flavours, making it suitable for sports drinks and a variety of food applications.
The Cargill move confirms the company's unveiled desire to increase market share of a number of food ingredients in Europe. The news will do little to raise the spirits of far smaller European trehalose distributors.
Cargill also has exclusive rights to sell its Ascend brand of trehalose in North, South and Central America.