New Cargill wheat gluten plant increases Russian presence

By Anthony Fletcher

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Wheat, Maize

Cargill is to open a major wheat gluten production facility in
Russia as part of a previously announced $60 million investment in
wheat processing.

The facility, at the companys industrial complex in Efremov, Tula region, is designed to enable the company to provide bakery customers with products that can improve the quality of baked goods and effectively reduce production costs.

It also builds on Cargill's presence in the country, which dates back to 1991.

"We are pleased to be able to provide bakers and flour millers with a local supply of this critical ingredient, especially at a time when the market is experiencing increased quality requirements and consumer demands for variation,"​ said Andrew Glass, head of Cargills operations in Russia.

The wheat processing facility is supplied both with local wheat purchased from agricultural producers in the Tula and neighbouring regions. In addition to vital wheat gluten, the facility will provide wheat starch that is further processed to make glucose at the Efremov complex.

Vital wheat gluten is the dried, insoluble protein that has been separated from the starch and other soluble components of wheat flour. It has a range of applications for the bakery market such as breads, rolls, pizza, tortillas, frozen foods, and noodles.

"The addition of vital wheat gluten to flour will provide many benefits for bakers, including improved dough strength, larger baking volumes, enhanced taste and appearance and improved shelf-life,"​ said Jon Lauritzen, Cargills vital wheat gluten sales manager in Russia.

"Whilst the Cargill facility in Efremov marks the first vital wheat gluten production in Russia, the company has significant expertise in the European market, with vital wheat gluten facilities in Germany, the Netherlands (two facilities) and Poland."

With over $300 million invested in the Russian agricultural and food processing sectors, Cargill is one of the leading agricultural investor in Russia. Last year, the group broke ground on its first refinery in Russia. Sunflower, rapeseed and corn oil, as well as palm and coconut oil are processed in the new € 46.1 million facility.

Indeed, Cargill was one of the first western corporations to attempt to penetrate the Russian market after the fall of communism. The company opened its Russian office in 1991 and activities in the country now include the supply of food and agricultural commodities as well as financial markets activities.

In 1993 Cargill opened a wholly-owned Russian subsidiary, Cargill AO, designed to serve farmers in the Russian agricultural belt.

In total, Cargill Russia employs well over 1,000 people, 99 per cent of whom are Russian nationals. The company as a whole has 98,000 employees in 61 countries.

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