The project, which still needs to receive construction and environmental permits, will see the expansion of the firms' joint venture Red Start Yeast Company plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. According to Red Star president John Riesch, the expansion will provide additional resources to support the growth of Red Star's yeast business. ADM said it "supports the additional investment in production capacity for key yeast markets". Red Star opened its Cedar Rapids facility in late 2005. The firm says the plant uses a number of unique processing technologies based on yeast grown on corn sugar syrup. The expansion of the plant is still subject to formal approval for financial assistance and support from the City of Cedar Rapids and the State of Iowa. The additional capacity is also designed to support the operation of a new adjacent yeast extract plant, which will be constructed by Lasaffre's Bio Springer North American subsidiary. The new Bio Springer plant, which will apply the firm's latest technology developments, will use the yeast supplied from the Red Star plant. The facility will be commissioned in the first half of 2010, with a capacity designed to meet the needs of the company's North American customers. Lesaffre, headquartered in Lille, France, is a strong player in the production and sale of bakers yeast and other yeast products. Yeast is used extensively in brewing and is also widely used in the food industry because of its taste contribution, which can impart a meaty bouillon taste to a wide variety of products. This is derived from the yeast's amino acid and peptide complex. The ingredient is used for bread production, beer fermentation, and also wine fermentation. The global yeast market, which last year was valued at around $1.6bn, is growing on the back of increasing demand for natural ingredients in processed foods. Last year, ADM purchased Lesaffre's 50 per cent interest in International Malting Company (IMC), making IMC a wholly-owned subsidiary of ADM. IMC was originally created as a joint venture in 1998 by ADM and Lesaffre. It has grown to become one of the world's largest suppliers of malt to the brewing, distilling and food industries. IMC operates malt plants in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Barley malt, which contains natural sugars, can be found in a wide range of foods, including breakfast cereals, beverages and bakery goods. It is the basic, fermentable ingredient in beer. The ingredient is increasingly being used to add nutritional value to products, such as cereal bars. According to Mintel, US sales alone topped $2.2bn in 2004, excluding sales through Wal-Mart and natural food stores.