This major investment will establish a strong reliable supply in the long run and strengthen its position as a leader in polyols, the company said.
In a challenging and fast-moving environment, Roquette said it remains deeply committed to upgrading its facilities. Investing in polyols was and remains a strategic decision for the group to better address long-term customer expectations.
Roquette’s site in Lestrem is the largest polyol plant in the world offering a wide variety of products. According to the company, this investment will improve equipment efficiency and increase safety standards. It will also help to standardize some industrial operations contributing to an overall production performance improvement. This evolution will ensure a sustainable supply in the market and meet the customers’ increasing expectations for greater flexibility.
Polyols for healthier and tasty food
Driven by the fast-increasing trend for healthier and sustainable food and lifestyle, the demand for nutritional solutions is dramatically increasing. According to Euromonitor, the market of healthier food products is expected to grow by about 15% in value between 2021 and 2026. Thanks to the nutritional benefits they offer, polyols are addressing this trend. Produced from plant-based raw materials such as maize or wheat, polyols are principally used as sugar alternatives in food products such as sugar-reduced or sugar-free confectionery, chocolate, chewing gum, baked goods, or snacks. Sugar in chocolate is commonly reduced by using either polyols, also known as sugar alcohols, or by adding fiber, for instance. The numerous scientific publications on the nutritional benefits of polyols for the human body evidence the positive impact of polyols in a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Polyols can cause digestive discomfort if consumed in excess, however, and their use requires a warning label about laxative effects on product packaging. Polyols such as xylitol and erythritol, meanwhile, can have a laxative effect if eaten in large quantities and have artificial-sounding names that might be shunned by consumers.
Polyols are also key excipients for the pharmaceutical sector and essential ingredients for oral care applications.
Pascal Leroy, Senior Vice-President of Core Ingredients at Roquette said: “Today, Roquette is recognized as a global leader in polyols. We are uniquely positioned to address customers’ needs as we strive to be the best partner for the polyols markets, offering a wide range, very well adapted to all markets and backed by a global service and technical assistance network. Thanks to this investment, we will now strengthen the reliability of the supply and our global industrial footprint.”