Tate & Lyle has been steadily repositioning towards value-added ingredients, and especially healthy ingredients, in recent years. The news of the polydextrose investment comes just as Tate & Lyle marks the opening of its new Health & Wellness Innovation Centre in Lille, France.
The firm already offers a brand of polydextrose to the market called Sta-Lite, which is produced is the US. Having a production line in Koog, The Netherlands, will enable it to be closer to its European customers, and be proactive about building use of this versatile ingredient, Caroline Sanders, marketing director for food and industrial ingredients Europe, told FoodNavigator.com.
Sanders explained that the new production line will be incorporated into the infrastructure of Tate & Lyle’s existing starch plant, which already uses corn (from which the polydextrose is made) as a raw material. It will involve a building project, and it is expected to be complete in 2010.
She was not able to reveal the level of Tate & Lyle’s investment at this time, nor the exact capacity of the new production line – but she did say it is the same “number of digits and order of magnitude” as its US line.
It will “meet growth in the market”, as supply of polydextrose has been tight recently due to increasing demand – not only from Europe and the US (where the FDA recently approved its use in beverages), but also from Asia.
Euromonitor International gives a global market volume for the ingredient of 83143.9 tones in 2007, up from 42921.1 in 2002. Compound annual growth rate for this period was 14.1 per cent.
Polydextrose is an ingredient with a variety of uses for the formulation of healthier foods. It is used as a natural sweetener in combination with (and to reduce the quantities of) synthetic low-calories sweeteners, and can also be used as to give suitable texture and mouthfeel to products with lower fat.
Sanders said that the basis of polydextrose use was, historically, calorie-reduction. Tate & Lyle is also looking to build awareness of its fibre content – and particularly nutritional applications on its prebiotic properties.
This means that it fits neatly into Tate & Lyle’s two platforms for product formulation – Rebalance, which looks to reduce sugar, fat and salt content in foods without affecting sensory attributes; and Enrich, which looks to add in ingredients for added health benefits.
Danisco is also a major player in the polydextrose market, but a spokesperson confirmed to FoodNavigator.com that its Litesse brand is not produced in Europe, but in the United States.