Tate & Lyle boasts a specialty starch portfolio made up of more than 150 solutions for food and beverage producers, designed to improve texture, taste, and ‘clean label’.
Within this portfolio, the ingredients supplier has developed a range of tapioca-based ingredients, which it says has a translucent colour, a ‘clean taste’, and a ‘soft gel-like texture’ suitable for use in dairy, soups, sauces and dressings.
“Tapioca starch is the fastest growing starch used globally in new product formulation in recent years, particularly in Asia Pacific where it is well-used in bakery, snacks and noodles,” noted the firm.
Now, Tate & Lyle is looking to expand its line of tapioca-based texturants, with the acquisition of Chaodee Modified Starch (CMS) – a tapioca modified starch manufacturer based in Thailand.
Tate & Lyle agrees to 85% shareholding agreement
By taking an 85% shareholding in CMS, Tate & Lyle ‘extends its presence’ in the specialty tapioca-based texturants market, noted the firm, and ‘establishes a dedicated production facility’ in the main tapioca growing region of eastern Thailand. Indeed, over 90% of tapioca starch output comes from Thailand.
The plan is for Tate & Lyle to operate CMS in partnership with the former owner. Together, the two businesses intend to invest in the facility over the next three years, with the goal of increasing capacity ‘significantly’ for ‘higher functionality’ starches.
The site will be supplied with substrate by a co-located tapioca starch mill fully owned and operated by Tate & Lyle’s partner.
“We are delighted to announce this investment to expand our tapioca offering and grow our texturant portfolio,” said Tate & Lyle chief executive Nick Hampton.
“CMS brings new tapioca capabilities, raw material sourcing expertise and additional production capacity to Tate & Lyle, and expands our presence in the higher growth Asia Pacific region.”
M&A & partnerships to drive growth
The purchase aligns with Tate & Lyle’s increased interest in M&A and partnerships.
Back in 2018, the business took a 15% stake in integrated global stevia ingredients company Sweet Green Fields, which it described as the largest privately held stevia supplier globally.
At the time, Vertical Group analyst Brett Hundley said the deal indicated an increased focus on M&A to support growth at Tate & Lyle. “The company will focus more on M&A going forward,” he said. “Aside from further developing its existing business, it also wants to use M&A to broaden its geographic scope with Asia as an example.”
And earlier this year, the ingredients supplier teamed up with US-based Zymtronix – a developer of ‘revolutionary enzyme immobilization technologies’. The partnership includes an investment by Tate & Lyle in Zymtronix’s enzyme immobilisation platform.
“[The] platform…helps to transform ingredient manufacturing by greatly enhancing the productivity of biocatalysis – a sustainable alternative to the chemical catalysis frequently relied upon in industrial processes,” a Tate & Lyle spokesperson said at the time.