GERMANY – Cargill will invest US$200 million in diversification of starches and sweeteners portfolio at its Krefeld, Germany site to include production of wheat-based products.

According to FoodIngredientsFirst, the processing facilities will focus on wheat rather than corn, in line with changing consumer trend regarding health and sustainable packaging.

Construction at the site is set to begin early next year, with completion expected by the summer of 2021.

Cargill aims to start selling high quality wheat products produced from the facilities in the autumn of 2021.

In addition to rising demand for protein-rich foods, the agribusiness giant has attributed the diversification strategy to growing world population, projected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050 as well as the rising need for industrialized starches used in paper packaging.

“Diversifying Krefeld’s product portfolio will allow us to address changing market trends like the increasing demand for vegetable proteins,” said Alain Dufait, Managing Director Cargill Starches, Sweeteners & Texturizers Europe.

“In order to diversify the portfolio, we need to transform our Krefeld site from a corn processing facility to a wheat processing facility.

“We believe such a transformation will help to improve Cargill Starches, Sweeteners & Texturizers Europe’s competitiveness, position the business for future growth and allow it to sustain its market leadership.”

Transformation of the site which currently produces a range of corn starches and sweeteners will see Cargill add wheat proteins and specialized starches to its portfolio.

The new facility will be built on the current factory site, featuring latest production technologies to increase the plant’s reliability and viability, while contributing to the company’s “feeding the world in a sustainable and responsible way” goal.

The strategic location of the facility near to the river Rhine and the rail network will allow Cargill serve both the European and global customers.

“Cargill remains committed to serving our food producing customers globally with corn starch-based ingredients in a safe and responsible way,” Dufait adds.

“The majority of the ingredients currently produced in Krefeld can be produced from wheat with the same specification.

“Should the customer require corn-based products, we will evaluate alternatives to ensure continuous supply from our European network for all our customers.”

Last month, Cargill said work had started on construction of state-of-the-art pectin plant in Bebedouro, Brazil, set to be completed by the end of 2021.