The plant is located in Lannilis, Brittany, strategically close to the coast, where the company says it works closely with local fishermen to source a sustainable supply of brown seaweed, from which it extracts its alginate. Alginates are used for thickening and gelling in food applications, and are also used in the pharmaceutical and personal care industries.
Bente Korsgaard, head of the alginates business for Cargill Texturizing Solutions, told FoodNavigator: “There is increased demand. Alginate is a very, very versatile ingredient. Seaweed as a food – not as an ingredient – is growing, and seaweed as an ingredient is also growing.
“…It has a favourable profile. It is nature derived. It is cold swelling and heat stable, and you don’t have many other ingredients that can give that.”
She added that the actual footprint of the plant will remain the same, but the company is “debottlenecking to increase the capacity”.
The plant expansion will help the company meet customer demand for a secure supply of cost-comptetive, high quality and sustainable alginates, Korsgaard said.
“Cargill’s investment in Lannilis – a strategically located alginates production plant with lifelong seaweeds extract experience – absolutely addresses these needs. We expect to see an increase in the number of companies utilizing Cargill alginates for product innovation, to reduce recipe costs, or to secure a more reliable supply chain,” she said.
Cargill has recently introduced new alginate ingredients intended for meat, bakery cream, low fat spread and personal care applications and, aside from its single ingredient texturisers, the company also provides multi-ingredient systems for food applications.