American agribusiness Cargill is investing $45 million to open a new production unit for soluble fibers used in sugar reduction applications at its Wroclaw, Poland manufacturing site, the company announced in a recent release. The new asset will enable the firm to enter the European soluble fiber market.
“Unlike most soluble fibers currently available, our new offerings were specifically designed to address the unique challenges facing food manufacturers as they aim to improve the nutritional profiles of their products, with fewer calories and less sugars,” Manuj Khanna, business development manager, Fibers for Cargill, said in a statement. “Our soluble fibers shine in these complex applications, providing great performance in terms of taste, appearance, digestive tolerance and mouthfeel – all critical to consumer satisfaction.”
Cargill’s soluble fibers utilize micro-reactor technology that was created through a partnership with the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology. The agribusiness obtained an exclusive license and was granted patents for the technology, which allows sugar reduction of up to 30% while maintaining texture, appearance, and taste in confectionery, sweet bakery, cereals, ice cream and dairy, and fillings.
Some of the firm’s customers are currently conducting trials of the soluble fiber solutions. Cargill said feedback received thus far indicate that the ingredients provide improved appearance and flavor while retaining processability that is similar to sugar or glucose syrups.
“Demand for products with improved nutritional profiles shows no signs of abating,” said Willian Oliveira, segment director, sweetness for Cargill’s European starches, sweeteners & texturizers business, in the release. “This critical investment, combined with our existing portfolio of sweetness solutions and deep formulation and application expertise, ensures that we have all the tools necessary to support our customers’ product development.”
Cargill expects to fully commercialize its initial soluble fiber offerings by the second half of 2022.