According to the company, enzymatic rearrangement is recognised as a “healthy and natural way to alter the characteristics of oils and fats”. Until now, however, this technology could be used only on a small scale. This made it a more expensive option compared to hydrogenation or chemical techniques.
The opening of the new IOI-Loders Croklaan factory in Rotterdam Massvalkte is claimed to make these oils available on a large scale for the first time. A spokesperson for IOI-Loders Croklaan told FoodNavigator.com that some companies have been supplying smaller quantities to the market in the past, but that the new plant has a capacity exceeding 100,000 tonnes a year.
He declined to comment on how much the price of enzymatically-interesterified oils will come down as a result.
IOI-Loders Croklaan has previously only offered chemically-interesterified oils, but it is already launching its first ingredients made with the enzymatic process. The brand name, Crokvitol, borrows from a margarine product made by Loders Croklaan in the 1960s which was designed to promote good heart health.
Marc den Hartog, sales and marketing director, said it “seemed fitting to celebrate our latest innovation by naming it after one of our breakthrough products of the past”.
The enzymatic process is also said to be more economical in terms of resource use. It takes place in mild conditions (which preserves nutrients in the oils), limits water and energy consumption and produces little waste.
During the design and construction phases, the company worked with environmental surveyors to minimise impact to local environment and ecosystems.
The new plant was opened by Dato’ Lee Yeow Chor, executive director of the IOI Group, and Maria van der Hoeven, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs.