Orafti doubles inulin capacity to meet demand

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Orafti, Dietary fiber

Belgium's Orafti group is investing €165 million in a second
chicory-extraction plant in Chile to respond to fast-growing demand
for inulin and oligofructose.

The plant will be built on a green-field site in the Bio-Bio region about 400 km south of Santiago and is scheduled to start production in the first half of 2006. It will have a capacity of tens of thousands of tonnes and, in the first phase, will be comparable to the capacity of the existing factory in Belgium, according to Orafti​.

Sales of inulin and oligofructose have enjoyed rapid popularity in recent years, linked to their multiple properties as food ingredients, reducing fat and carbohydrates in food products and adding prebiotic properties (beneficial to gut health). Orafti recently reported research showing that a daily dose of its Raftilose Synergy1, a patented combination of inulin and oligofructose, increased calcium absorption in human volunteers. It is also researching the role of Raftilose Synergy1 in reducing the risk of colon cancer.

Such benefits have led to a fast growth rate. Orafti says it has seen annual growth above 25 per cent for many years and its Oreye, Belgium plant will soon reach maximum production capacity. Frost & Sullivan data show the prebiotics market, currently worth €87 million, will see annual growth of 9.7 per cent, bringing the European fructan market up to €179.7 million by 2010.

The Chile plant will allow Orafti to spread production over two periods of the year (the first half in Chile, the second half in Belgium), offering better planning and production efficiency. The risk of a depleted harvest due to bad weather conditions is also significantly reduced by working in two distinct climatic regions, the company said.

The Latin American country also offers excellent climatic conditions - large amounts of sunshine, abundant availability of irrigation water and a shorter frost period ?resulting in longer production and higher chicory root quality compared with Belgium. And it has a long history of growing sugar beet there, contributing valuable 'know-how' for chicory cultivation.

Orafti has a second production plant in Belgium and another in Wijchen (Netherlands) but it has put 'on hold?a project to build a factory in Australia due to uncertainties about the climate and water availability together with disappointing field trials.

The company, a subsidiary of the Belgian agro-food group Raffinerie Tirlemontoise/Tiense Suikerraffinaderij and part of the Ingredients Group of Germany's S?zucker, will not compete in the sugars market in Chile.

Dutch competitor Sensus has also recently expanded its presence in the South American market through new agreements with distributors in Argentina and Chile.

Related news

Related products

show more

Clean-label flavor enhancement and sodium reduction

Clean-label flavor enhancement and sodium reduction

Salt Of The Earth LTD | 01-Jul-2020 | Application Note

Mediterranean Umami is a mixture of plant extracts rich in umami flavor compounds and sea-salt. It is an all-natural and clean-label solution for flavor...

Top Trends Affecting the Growing Snack Category

Top Trends Affecting the Growing Snack Category

AIDP, Inc | 29-Jun-2020 | Infographic

Snacks are growing at double digit rates primarily driven by new forces. Consumers tastes and demographic shifts are propelling snack growth. Consumers...

Unlock Innovative Opportunities with ADM

Unlock Innovative Opportunities with ADM

ADM | 23-Jun-2020 | Sponsored Link

You’re looking for insights-driven opportunities created by the unprecedented challenges of the food & beverage development industry.

To...

Convenience foods + culinary standards

Convenience foods + culinary standards

Cargill | 09-Jun-2020 | Technical / White Paper

Keeping pace with modern lifestyles and current trends, today’s convenience category has the opportunity to re-invent itself and earn a consistent place...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars