ADM prepares for rising soy demand in Middle East

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

ADM prepares for rising soy demand in Middle East

Related tags United arab emirates Middle east Archer daniels midland

Ingredients giant Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) will lead a step-change advance in meat functionality by selling a soy product from its Brazilian plant to the Middle East and Africa.

Arcon SM is the soy concentrate ADM hopes could be the backbone to success in the region’s meat industry.

Alexander Martinez, international sales manager at ADM, said the ingredient could help processors make products such as sausages or luncheon meat, with the right bite and slice.

ADM’s sales push comes as production of Arcon SM is expected to rise, following news the company’s soy ingredients factory in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul has come on stream.

The recently-built $250m factory will be used to manufacture ADM’s full range of soy protein ingredients. Coincidentally, the first batches of product made at the plant, including Arcon SM, will be sold to the Middle East and Africa.

The fact that we built a new factory is a clear message for the meat industry: we’re going to produce more functional soy concentrates for meat applications​,” said Martinez.

The reason we invested in the new plant in Brazil is because we believe that the Middle East and Africa is a growing market. We do believe there is big potential here… We do believe there is going to be an expansion of meat processors here​.”

When asked why meat outfits should consider using Arcon SM, Martinez said: “The first question I would ask is, what is the percentage of fat in your sausages? If you are using more than 15-20% fat, you may be required to use an emulsifier. We do have a portfolio of emulsifier proteins, but if the percentage of fat in your sausage is less than 15%, then you do not need an emulsifier. You need a product that can bind more water and Arcon SM is the perfect water-binding ingredient​.”

Martinez made these comments at the Gulfood Manufacturing 2017 trade show in Dubai. It was an event at which many western businesses said trends in the European and US food industry, like clean-label food and flexitarianism, could trickle through to the Middle East.

Few businesses had hard data to prove these trends were gaining traction. However, some suggested the growing expatriate community in affluent parts of the region, especially the United Arab Emirates, could bring western-style consumption habits to the Middle East.

On this, Martinez added: “We believe that, eventually, the trend ​[for flexitarianism] will reach the Middle East. It is a matter of time. In Europe it is strong right now, so we know that, in the following years, it will come. We are prepared to meet demand in this market​.”

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