USA – US-based private equity firm CORE Industrial Partners has acquired J&K Ingredients Corp, a manufacturer of baked goods ingredients, for an undisclosed amount.

J&K Ingredients was founded in 1899 and has overtime developed mastery in the baked goods ingredients sector with an emphasis on natural, organic and clean label products.

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The Company is credited for developing the bakery industry’s first natural mold inhibitor more than four decades ago and remains at the forefront of natural mold inhibitor innovation, custom formulation and manufacturing.

Natural mold inhibitors enhance taste, texture, aroma, consistency and shelf life while providing a clean label alternative to artificial chemical preservatives.

“J&K is a pioneer in the development of on-trend, clean label ingredients,” says John May, managing partner of CORE.

May notes that as food industry continues to convert to clean label ingredients in response to consumer demand.

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“We are confident that J&K is well-positioned to benefit from this powerful tailwind given its scalable operations, broad portfolio of products and in-house ability to innovate and develop new formulations through its R&D lab,” May added.

Matthew Puglisi, Partner of CORE noted that the investment firm had also identified numerous opportunities to accelerate organic growth in the business, including rapid commercialization of recently developed new products.

J&K’s signature product lines include Bred-Mate, Rice-Mate and more recently, SOR-Mate, the first fruit-based natural replacement for sorbic acid and potassium sorbate.

Beyond its broadly recognized natural mold inhibitor product lines, the company’s total bakery ingredients offering spans more than 400 items across 13 categories.

These include bread and roll bases, dough conditioners, milk replacers, flavors, emulsions and stabilizers, among other categories.

The company operates three facilities in New Jersey, US, J&K and holds FDA, Halal, Kosher, FSSC 22000 and organic certifications.

“We are confident that J&K is well-positioned to benefit from this powerful tailwind given its scalable operations, broad portfolio of products and in-house ability to innovate and develop new formulations through its R&D lab.”

John May – managing partner of CORE

The acquisition of J&K ingredients comes at a time when the baking industry is transitioning towards naturality.

Maturing consumer label literacy has sparked the race to innovate across global markets, while ditching traditional additives.

According to a report by Innova Market Insights, the consumer lifestyle trend toward cleaner living is broadening and raising expectations around what constitutes a clean label.

In this space, Kerry recently debuted an extract technology that enables innovators to formulate with the flavor essences of citrus fruits, labeled as “natural extracts.”

Kerry explains that the technology is designed to provide an extended, “more full-bodied” finish to flavored NPD.

Blue California also joined forces with biotech innovator Conagen earlier this month to commercialize Rosavel, a next-generation natural preservation solution.

The natural preservative contains 98 percent high-purity rosmarinic acid made by bioconversion without the color or flavor associated with rosemary.

In other moves, Flavor house Firmenich is ushering in “a new era for the development of clean label solutions” through the launch of its new biotechnology pilot plant and laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland.

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