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BENEO Invests in Increasing Capacity of Rice Starch

K2VITAL®
 
Albion Minerals®

New Jersey-based BENEO has announced a 50 percent production capacity increase at its Wijgmaal, Belgium facility to BENEO respond to rising customer demand for its rice starches. A two-stage expansion process valued at $56 million, will lead to increased capacity by March 2022.

BENEO forecasts that the growing demand for natural and clean label products, in applications such as coated confectionery, will intensify in major existing markets, including the Americas and Europe. Rice is widely considered a familiar and recognizable product, with 61 percent of consumers worldwide regarding rice starch as natural, making it the ideal ingredient for the development of products that respond to the increasing trend for clean and clearer labels.

Roland Vanhoegaerden, operations managing director, specialty rice ingredients at BENEO noted that the nature of the ingredients business is one of long-term thinking and economic resilience. “We fundamentally believe in the value of this investment with demand for rice starch coming from both natural and organic growth, as well as from new projects and applications. One of the key reasons for our confidence is the ‘clean label’ trend, where food manufacturers are moving away from artificial additives and replacing them with natural alternatives, such as rice starch.”

Rice starch is capable of filling up all of the micropores on the surface of coatings due to its very fine particle size. This so-called “smoothing effect” is especially beneficial for confectionery manufacturers during the production process, since it ensures a stable result where edges do not crack or splinter. Additionally, rice starch allows for the preservation of a brilliant white color for months.

Since Jan. 1, 2020, titanium dioxide, which is used to fill microscopic irregularities in coatings, is no longer permitted for use in food products in France. There are expectations that other E.U. markets may follow the country in banning the additive. “We are already seeing some major companies looking at rice starch and we will soon have a much larger capacity in place to address this rising demand,” Vanhoegaerden explained.

Technical trials by the BENEO-Technology Center have shown that clean label rice starch can also play an important role in a variety of other applications including baked goods and products that need to undergo severe processing conditions, such as sauces and dressings, as well as pet food.

For more information, visit www.beneo.com.

 

Albion Minerals®
 
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