The food ingredients company announced plans to increase the capacity of its corn processing facility in Boleraz, Slovakia, in May 2009. The decision was largely influences by an increased quota for isoglucose (known as high fructose corn syrup in the US), which is tied to the sugar regime in Europe.
Marketing manager Caroline Sanders told FoodNavigator.com that increase in corn processing capacity is still underway, but progress has already been made. In time, there will be an increased production for all the ingredients derived from that corn: not only glucose syrups and isoglucose, but also for starches and maltodextrin.
New isoglucose capacity is expected to come on board later this year.
She would not reveal the precise level of the production site increase because it is a closely-guarded competitive secret, but said it is “several times” greater.
The Slovakia plant is part of Tate and Lyle’s Eaststarch joint venture. It is located in the Slovakian corn belt, and mostly serves customers in mainland Europe “because proximity to market counts”.
In addition, Sanders said manufacturers based in Central and Eastern Europe have not had adequate supply of corn-derived ingredients to meet market needs. This applies not only to local firms but also to Tate & Lyle’s multinational customers, many of whom have set up their own bases in the region.
Glucose syrups can be used in a broad range of food and beverage products, including confectionery, fruit preparations and some beverages. Consumer demand for such products is growing in CEE at double digit annual growth rates.
Valentin Stanimirov, Vice President Sales Liquid Sweeteners and Industrial Starches, said: “Despite the effects of the economic downturn, demand for glucose has stayed relatively stable over the last year. This, combined with the effects of the EU Sugar Regime reform and the fact that leading manufacturers have taken the decision to expand their Central and Eastern European operations, makes us confident that the newly expanded plant will be a great success.
“Importantly, the expansion will also allow the business to continue to expand its multi-functional portfolio of products for food and beverage customers, which is a key strategic focus for Tate & Lyle.”