EGYPT –  Ofi, a global leader in naturally good food and beverage ingredients and solutions, has inaugurated a new herb processing facility in Benin-Suef, Egypt to meet growing demand.

The new facility is expected to process 3,000 metric tons of herbs every year including basil, fennel, marjoram, parsley and dill sourced directly from around 1,000 local farmers.

According to Brijesh Krishnaswamy, President of Spices by Ofi, the new facility will operate under Dehydro Foods- a subsidiary of Ofi- and will create 75 job opportunities. 

Egypt is one of the biggest markets for the processing, exporting and growing of herbs, with Upper Egypt providing the ideal growing conditions.

“Herbs play an important role in contributing to food’s colour, fragrance and taste, and potentially as a flavour replacement to sodium and sugar,” said Brijesh.

“With careful processing, dried herbs often retain a deeper, spicier flavour compared to their fresh counterparts, providing a convenient, shelf-stable ingredient for bulk buy.”

He also highlighted that Egypt teams are focused on maintaining strong relationships with the farmers in the supply chain, advising on quality.

“Our innovation teams can demonstrate to our CPG, retailer and food service customers the savoury and culinary opportunities available, including in combination with our wider spices, nuts and dairy product portfolio,” he added.

“The team will also work closely with Ofi’s innovation centres around the globe to create optimal solutions for its international customer base.”

Research indicates that the global market size for herbs is growing at 6.44% (CAGR 2023-2028) in market size, driven by the consumer demand for clean-label products that aren’t laden with artificial additives and preservatives.

Drying herbs concentrate their flavour, enabling manufacturers to add a flavour punch. They also sport a long shelf life – making it suitable for both professional and home use.

Additionally, certain herbs offer a healthy alternative to sodium; oregano has for instance been shown to reduce salt cravings. 

Meanwhile, global family-owned developer of customised ingredients Custom Culinary has renewed its contract as a WorldChefs Global Partner.

Custom Culinary – a business entity of Griffith Foods – provides foodservice and food processing professionals with authentic flavour solutions.

Combining food science, technology and the culinary arts, its products are developed in collaboration with a team of award-winning chefs, who bring their expertise and taste influences to the table, along with a solid book of local providers of cleaner ingredients.

“Custom Culinary has been a natural partner for Worldchefs in their commitment to helping culinary professionals perfect the art of flavourful food with purpose,” said Ragnar Fridriksson, Worldchefs MD.

“Their support of Worldchefs’ Feed the Planet programmes, culinary competitions and their understanding of industry and consumer trends all reflect the dedication of their global team to building a better food future.”

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