Located next to Fazer’s oat mill on the Lahti site, the factory – first announced in January – will create oat hull-based xylitol for the Northern Europe market.
According to Fazer, its oat milling process produces a ‘substantial amount’ of oat hulls for use as a side stream, which in turn supports a circular economy. Indeed, the new facility marks the world’s first backward integrated xylitol manufacturing site.
Xylitol is popular in chewing gum and pastille products as a low calorie sugar alternative.
The sweetener, which is produced from xylose – found in various trees and plants – has 60% of the calories of sugar, but tastes just as sweet.
Fazer will use the xylitol produced at the new plant in its confectionery business and sell varying formats to the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
“We have at hand an innovation where we combine patentable new technology, healthier options to consumers and an excellent example of an innovative circular economy solution,” said Faber Group CEO Christoph Vitzthum in a statement.
“We believe that xylitol from a plant-based Nordic raw material with a Nordic origin will create interest also outside Finland and the Nordic countries, even globally. We plan to expand the xylitol production to our mill in Sweden.”
Fazer broke ground on the site last month and expects construction to complete in 2020.