EUROPE – American multinational food corporation Cargill is investing US$45 million into production of soluble fibers in an effort to meet demand for low calories products in Europe. 

According to a statement from the company, the investment will be pumped into Cargill’s existing facility in Wroclaw, Poland where construction of a soluble fiber products line is already underway.

The company is expecting its initial offerings to be fully commercialized in the second half of 2022. 

The move marks the company’s first entry into the European soluble fibre market and comes amid a growing demand for reduced-sugar products.

Demand for low-sugar products grows

Consumers have been shifting their preference to low sugar products to avoid lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity.  

UNESDA, which represents Europe’s soft drinks industry including Coca-Cola and Suntory Beverage, has said it would work to reduce average added sugars in beverages by 10%, bringing the overall reduction over the last two decades to 33%. 

PepsiCo, a leading beverage manufacturer, is also revamping its European beverage portfolio, pledging to reduce the average level of added sugars by 25 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030. 

In the UK, where obesity and diabetes are threatening to overwhelm the health system, the government has enacted laws to will ban the advertising of Junk food before 9 pm. 

This will greatly limit the ability of confectionery companies to market their products, further adding pressure for companies to reformulate their products to make them “less junky”.  

Cargill’s solutions would be timely as they are reported to enable sugar reduction of up to 30%, as well as calorie reduction and fibre enrichment in applications such as confectionery, sweet bakery, fillings, cereal, and ice cream. 

“Our soluble fibres shine in these complex applications, providing great performance in terms of taste, appearance, digestive tolerance, and mouthfeel – all critical to consumer satisfaction,” said Manuj Khanna, business development manager for fibres at Cargill. 

Cargill will produce its soluble fibres using its patented micro-reactor technology, developed in partnership with Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute for Technology. 

“Demand for products with improved nutritional profiles shows no signs of abating,” said Willian Oliveira, segment director sweetness for Cargill’s European starches, sweeteners & texturizers business. 

New low sugar products emerge

In recent months, sugar reduction has made waves across several categories from confectionery to spoonable yogurt. 

For instance, Chobani is poised to disrupt the yogurt space with a major US launch that sees the dairy specialist eliminate the sugar in milk. 

Earlier this year, DouxMatok also released its first direct-to-consumer product featuring its Incredo Sugar, a sugar-based solution that enables 30 to 50 percent sugar reduction. 

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE