BRAZIL – American privately held global food corporation Cargill has opened a new US$150 million processing plant in Bebedouro, Brazil to enable it meet the increasing demand for clean label texturising ingredients. 

Located in Brazil’s citrus growing region, the new site provides a large supply of fresh fruit peels – the raw material used in pectin production.  

With an abundance of raw materials at its disposal, the new site will produce the full suite of Cargill’s pectin offerings, enabling the global food corporation to expand its presence in South America and Europe. 

“Demand for pectin is at an all-time high, fueled by global trends around sugar reduction and label-friendly formulation, as well as the popularity of fruit-flavoured dairy drinks,” said Laerte Moraes, managing director for Cargill’s starches, sweeteners and texturisers business in South America.  

“Adding a fourth pectin production facility to our supply network further secures our position as a reliable supplier of this sought-after ingredient.” 

The HM pectin Cargill produces will be used to make products such as jams, fruit-flavored beverages, acidic dairy drinks, yogurts, fruit preparations, and confectionery, as well as personal care products. 

 HM pectin is used in product formulations for a number of roles including thickening and gelling, stabilizing proteins in acidic environments, and supporting the production of low sugar beverages. 

According to a statement from the company, the new state-of-the-art facility will prioritize “sustainable production with advanced CO2 emission reductions and biomass reuse”. 

This will help Cargill to meet its pledge to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions across its operations, using advanced technology and sustainably certified raw materials. 

“This new plant is the latest example of how Cargill is working to lower our environmental impact across operations,” Moraes added.  

“Within the last five years, we’ve reduced the energy consumption of our European plants by 20%. Our Bebedouro plant will continue that commitment, using advanced technology to minimise our carbon footprint.” 

Cargill says that initial shipments from the Bebedouro plant in Brazil are expected to begin by the end of 2021. 

The Brazil plant opening culminates a three-year plan to expand Cargill’s global pectin production, which taps into market growth of 3 to 4 percent over the last several years. 

Construction for this site began in June of 2019, building upon improvements to its existing pectin facilities in France, Germany, and Italy. 

With the combined added capacity, Cargill is now the world’s second-largest pectin producer. 

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