INDONESIA — Cargill has invested US$2.4 million to upgrade its sweetener plant in Indonesia, more than doubling the company’s production capacity for organic non-GMO tapioca syrup in response to continued consumer demand for healthier ingredients.

Cargill said the upgrades include additional filling stations, blending and storage tanks, and warehouse improvements. This upgrade will bring the company’s annual production capacity for organic, non-GMO tapioca syrup to 12,000 tonnes by 2024.

Sourced from the cassava plant, tapioca syrup is used in food products such as ice cream, snack bars and confectionery products, including hard candies, caramels, marshmallows and gummies.

The rising health awareness among consumers is driving the demand for natural and healthier sweeteners from the major end-use industries.

 As tapioca syrup contains fewer calories and carbs as compared to sugar, is plant-based, and offers additional benefits over sucrose, its demand is significantly increasing.

Future market insights estimate the global tapioca maltodextrin market at US$ 3.8 Billion in 2022, forecasting it exhibiting steady growth at a CAGR of 5.7% in the forecast period from 2022 to 2032.

The plant’s proximity to major tapioca-growing regions in Asia and the added production capacity is expected to help meet demand within the rapidly growing North American and Asian clean-label sweetener markets.

“American consumers’ appetites for products made with ingredients perceived as simple, familiar and responsibly sourced continues to grow and evolve,” said Dana Johnson, vice president of sweetness segment, Cargill Starches, Sweeteners & Texturizers North America.

“As our customers look to satiate that demand, our tapioca syrup is increasingly in the sweet spot — offering transparent sourcing, organic and non-GMO certifications, and positive consumer perceptions.”

The investment in the sweetener facility is Cargill’s latest towards enhancing its ingredient and production capabilities, having recently formed a joint venture with Thai modified starch producer Starpo.

It has also invested US$100 million to build a new corn wet mill at its Pandaan, Indonesia, sweetener plant to produce more corn-based starches, sweeteners and animal feed ingredients.

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