The Danish ingredient firm says that the new factory in Cochin will double the companies production capacity of spice extract, derived from paprika and other spices.
"It all started about ten years ago when we entered into a joint venture with an Indian partner regarding the establishment of a new production unit, and now we are just about to put the finishing touches on a new, highly technological factory in Cochin," said Bent Zibrandtsen, vice president of global sourcing at Chr Hansen.
According to Zibrandtsen, the increasing demand among consumers for healthy and natural food products and ingredients has led to a surge in the market for natural oleoresins.
Oleoresins, which contain a very high quality flavour and aroma, are primarily used in processed meats, fish, vegetables, soups, sauces, and dressings, in addition to a variety of dairy products, snacks, and beverages. India is the world's largest manufacturer of oleoresins, which are mainly produced in Kerala, the state in which the city of Cochin is located.
The market has experienced an upturn due to increasing consumption of spice mixtures in developing nations, which are now, to a much larger extent than ever before, in the market for processed food products. In India alone, disposable income is rising, and has caused the market for processed food products to increase by over 12 per cent annually, which again boosts the demand for spices and taste solutions.
It is this market that Chr Hansen is intent on tapping.
"Chr Hansen ranks number two on the list of the world's largest manufacturers of paprika oleoresins, and number three when it comes to extraction of other spice extracts," said Zibrantsen.
"However, we are now securing our leading position by doubling our global production capacity with the expansion of the new factory."
The new factory in Cochin boasts the latest technology within extraction equipment for spices.
"The new plant enables us to extract on a continuous basis, and thus achieve a utilisation coefficient of 100 per cent," said Zibrandtsen. "At the same time, the new system offers us much greater flexibility in terms of raw products, which we are now able to get from the entire world."
The capacity augmentation in India therefore gives Chr Hansen the opportunity to meet the increasing demand in a quickly expanding global market.
"There is no doubt that the capacity augmentation will further strengthen our position in the market, and also support the plans we have for expanding our presence in the spice segment. Furthermore, the recent investment fits well with our long-term focus on the Asia-Pacific region, an area in which we are able to both manufacture at a lower cost and also meet the quickly increasing demand within food ingredients."
An oleoresin contains a spice's flavour profile as well as ingredients, and is therefore able to replace a spice without deteriorating the spice's flavour and aroma characteristics.
Moreover, an oleoresin's colour stays consistent from production to production, and its microbiology can be controlled as compared to raw spices. Oleoresins are obtained by using alcohol. The alcohol is later removed with steam.