The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, will bring Sicilian production sites in Milazzo into Cargill’s texturising portfolio.
Cargill's texturising solutions business president Colleen May said: “We took this step so we can provide food companies around the world with a strong supply of high quality pectin available; a ‘label-friendly’ food ingredient for which we see a clear growing demand.
“With a direct access to fresh citrus peel, the facility is ideally located. It will be a perfect addition to our existing network of facilities in Europe and complement our supply chain.”
Cargill said it planned to develop relationships with local lemon processing companies.
FMC bought Italian food pectin processor Pectine Italia for an undisclosed sum back in 2012, which marked its first move into the pectin market and followed the purchase of two other natural food colour businesses.
The Milazzo plant produces HM (high methoxyl) pectin, running mainly on fresh peel. The facility includes fresh peel washing and drying equipment, a pectin production line, dry peel storage silos and a quality control laboratory.
The transaction is subject to EU approval expected in the next few months.
US-based multinational Cargill has 152,000 employees in 67 countries, while its texturising business has 31 sales offices and 21 manufacturing plants in France, Germany, Morocco, the Netherlands, the US, Brazil, China and the Philippines.