Naturex has paid an undisclosed sum for the yucca and quillaia foaming agents business of US player Berghausen, which will be exploited to develop tailored beverage formulas and target new customers in the US.
It is the second quillaia (commonly known as soapbark or soapbush) acquisition for the French herbals giant this year after it earlier bought Chile Botanics.
Yucca Schidigera and Quillaja Saponaria are natural foaming agents found in a wide range of carbonated beverages, syrups, frozen carbonated beverages, beer, juices, and many other products requiring enhanced foaming characteristics.
“Our aim is to pursue and accelerate the technical development of this portfolio...” explained CEO Thierry Lambert.
Communications manager, Karine Morel, added: “This operation will enrich Naturex's range of differentiating raw materials. It will help us to reach new US customers in beverages and food industry, and we see good business opportunities in Asia, latin America and Europe.”
Demand for quillaia has accelerated over the last four years, according to Morel.
“The number of products launched between 2010 and 2012 is higher than the number of new products launched in the previous nine years. The food and beverage market represents 60% of the quillaia applications and is the most promising with carbonated beverages leading the trend,” she said.
Products will be developed at Naturex’s applications labs with manufacturing transferred to its facilities in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia to optimise time to market.
“Our network plays a key role in working with customers, innovating alongside them and ensuring a value-added service. It allows us to develop projects with our clients with an optimised time-to-market,” explained Morel.
“Moreover, our application laboratories will be able to help our clients to adapt the foaming characteristics of quillaia and yucca to their own beverage formulas.”
Other recent Naturex acquisitions include EU plant extract manufacturer, Burgundy, and Polish pectins and fruit and vegetable concentrates specialist, Pektowin in 2011.
It also bought Indian natural colours and powders producer, Valentine, and US cranberry firm, Decas Botanical Synergies in 2012.