BRAZIL – Sustainable natural ingredients supplier Darling Ingredients is eyeing a greater share of the health and nutrition market with the acquisition of Brazil-based bovine collagen producer Gelnex.

Gelnex has five facilities in South America and one in the US and is capable of producing up to 46,000 metric tons of collagen and collagen-based products, such as gelatin and collagen peptides, annually.

The acquisition for approximately US$1.2 billion will increase Darling Ingredient’s grass fed, bovine-based collagen production capabilities in preparation for an anticipated future rise in demand.

Darling Ingredients says that the market for collagen is expected to double in the next five years as research and studies continue to promote collagen’s health benefits for joints, sports nutrition, and beauty. 

“Gelnex is a well-run business and will be immediately accretive,” says Randall C. Stuewe, chairman and CEO of Darling Ingredients.

“This acquisition will allow Darling to continue to grow its presence in the health and nutrition market and increase our production capacity for grass-fed bovine collagen in South America to help meet the future demand of our collagen customers worldwide.”

Darling Ingredients already has a robust presence in the health and nutrition market with its health nutrition brand Rousselot having 11 facilities around the world.

One of the facilities, located in Ghent, Belgium, began manufacturing porcine-based collagen ingredients at the beginning of 2022.

Rousselot, which is already a leading manufacturer of fish, porcine and bovine-sourced collagen, launched a collagen-based joint health ingredient at Vitafoods Europe earlier this year.

“Collagen is the most abundant protein naturally found in the body and it plays an increasing role in the health and nutrition market as consumers seek benefits to their hair, nails, skin, joints, bones and muscles,” explains Stuewe. 

“Our versatile and high-quality collagen products can be used in a broad range of applications, including powder blends, capsules, tablets, nutritional bars, drinks, dairy and confectionery.”

Earlier in August, Darling Ingredients announced it has completed the acquisition of Brazil’s largest independent rendering company, FASA Group, for approximately R$2.8 billion Brazilian Real in cash (US$542.6 million).

As part of the transaction, Darling Ingredients has acquired 14 plants that process more than 1.3 million metric tons annually, with an additional two plants under construction.

“Brazil will play a big role in feeding a growing world population, which makes it a premier location to grow our specialty ingredients business,” Stuewe said.

 “FASA will be immediately accretive and further de-risks the supply chain by providing an additional source of non-food based, low-carbon waste fats to be used in the production of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.”

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, and YouTube page, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook.