The US affiliate of the Israeli ingredients and flavor manufacturer already bolstered its portfolio by acquiring two companies this year. As such, the present announcement that Frutarom USA has been recommended to receive ISO 9000:2000 certification represents additional fine-tuning of its North American operations. The company asserts that taking on such a certification program is two-pronged - driven primarily by client demand, but also aimed at improving in-house management and as such optimizing production and efficiency. "It is something customers in the food industry have been looking for - for ensured supply," Ron Pisculli, Frutarom manager of quality control, told NutraIngredient-USA.com. The company said the certification has nothing to do with the ushering in of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) legislation in the US. "This has been an objective of ours for more than a year," said Pisculli. However, the company did say that, thanks to the ceritification, they are GMP-prepared. "The ISO program maintains GMP complaince," Luis Gayo, vice president of operations told Frutarom USA, "It's perfectly tied in." ISO certification is third party validation based on the International Standardization Organization's published standards. Two members of Bureau Veritas Certification audited Frutarom USA's North Bergen, New Jersey, facility over a three-day period in June. The auditors recommended the plant for this certification, affirming compliance programs are in place for Frutarom's purchasing, customer service, human resources, quality assurance/regulatory and production areas - with only three citations for minor nonconformance. "This is going to allow us to provide a consistent level of quality and management, with complete documentation and transparency," said Pisculli. According to the company, the demand for certification is not limited to clients in the nutraceutical industry. "This is designed to support all of our ingredients," said Gayo. "There is a universal desire on the parts of all the industries we've been supplying." Frutarom, which also has locations in the EU, has two main divisions - flavors and fine ingredients - and supplies the food, beverage, flavor, fragrance, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and personal care industries. The North Bergen facility manufactures botanical extracts and hydrocolloid gums for industries including those for dietary supplements and functional foods. This year, Frutarom purchased US ingredients manufacturer, Abaco, for $4mn. The firm Georgia-based firm specialized in ingredients for the flavor and fragrance industries. Frutarom said it was looking to leverage the company's marketing and sales teams, as well as client networks, in order to boost its reach into the US market. The Georgia manufacturer claims to have hundreds of local, as well as multinational, clients for its services in the field of unique ingredients. The purchase of Israeli firm Adumim was also designed to increase Frutarom's supply of natural ingredients to international nutraceutical and functional food markets. Included in the take-over is Adumim's 45.8 percent share in NutraLease, a company set up by Adumim founder Nissim Garti. One of the products on offer from NutraLease is a nanoencapsulation technology which allows insoluble materials to be added to foods, beverages, medications and cosmetic products without adversely affecting their quality.