The number two pectin player with 25 per cent of the market foresees market demand could lead to eventual full capacity for its existing Mexico and Czech Republic plants. The new DKK300 million (€40.3m) plant will lift production by 35 per cent to answer the current annual growth rate of 3 to 6 per cent in pectin.
A year long risk assessment by the Danish firm landed the decision to go for a grass roots plant in Brazil as opposed to expanding existing plants.
"From a quality and cost perspective selecting Brazil made the most sense," Hans Henrik Hjorth, president of Danisco's textural ingredients division told FoodNavigator.com.
Pectin, extracted and blended from citrus peel (lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit), is the gelling agent that makes jams and preserves set, but also enhances the texture and appearance of a range of foods, as well as contributing to flavour release.
The texturant product is enjoying strong growth in parallel to increasing demand from soft drinks makers launching new types of beverages, like drinking yoghurts and milk/juice drinks, driven by the burgeoning health positioned foods trend.
Market analysts Euromonitor claim that in France, alone, the market for drinking and spoonable probiotic yoghurts is growing at a high 10.4 per cent.
As the world's largest producer of orange concentrate, the new Danisco plant will profit from the easy access to its by-product, orange peel, the raw material for pectin.
As global energy prices rise over ongoing supply concerns, natural gas recently reached six-month highs and crude oil moved over the $50 a barrel mark, Danisco claims - without offering further details - that "alternative sources of energy in Brazil" will provide it with "relatively cheap energy." Biodiesel, a growing market in the US, could be the option.
Last month the €2.4 billion firm rolled out a line extension for new gains from its Grinsted pectin range that targets food and beverage makers looking to spear the growing sports nutrition and functional food markets.
Aimed at low pH protein beverages, Grinsted Pectin AMD 382 and AMD 383, both premium priced products, have been designed to provide texture profile and protein protection to short shelf life drinking yogurts, long life drinking yoghurts, milk/juice drinks and soy beverages.