Rikevita, the Malaysian subsidiary of which Yen 2.5 billion Riken Vitamin has a 90 per cent slice and Mitsubishi the remaining 10 per cent, was established in 1991 as the first overseas plant of Riken Vitamin to produce distilled monoglyceride.
In response to a rise in market demand, Rikevita set the wheels in motion in 2001 to increase capacity for the production of emuslifiers.
"In order to meet increasing market demand for our products, we have injected another RM 109 million in the new high tech automated plant," said Mamoru Hara, managing director of Rikevita this week.
The company has high hopes that the increase in production capacity of the new emulsifier plant will shoot it to one of the top global spots as a producer of emulsifiers.
The new 'state-of-art' emulsifier plant produces a wide range of emulsifiers such as glycerol ester of fatty acids, organic acid ester of fatty acids, polyglycerol ester of fatty acids, propylene glycol esters of fatty acids and sorbitan ester of fatty acids.
The emusifiers are mainly for use in food products such as bread, cakes, tofu, dairy, ice cream, noodle, fats and oil. More than 90 per cent of Rikevita's products are exported worldwide.
Emulsifiers, a subset of surfactants, are commonly used in many food products. An emulsion is a dispersion of small droplets of one immiscible liquid within another. Emulsifiers keep the droplets from coalescing. Although these food additives may offer some degree of emulsification, they also perform important functions in baked goods, such as starch complexing, protein strengthening and aeration.
The use of emulsifiers in foods has risen steadily over the past two decades, driven by the expansion of food production and the development and increased use of modern food processing techniques.