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Kerry’s new European emulsifier plant opens doors in Asia

By Sarah Hills , 13-Apr-2012

Kerry: Opening doors to Asia's surging emulsifier market
Kerry: Opening doors to Asia's surging emulsifier market

Kerry Ingredients & Flavours has opened a new emulsifier plant in Europe, which will free up capacity at its existing Asia facility to capitalise on growth.

Kerry said that the new Zwijndrecht facility doubles the installed capacity for emulsifiers in the Netherlands and broadens its technology offering in Europe to include distilled product types.

However, at the same time it will “absorb volumes” which are currently produced in Kerry’s emulsifier plant in Port Klang, Malaysia, freeing up capacity to support growth in the APAC market.

Europe and the USA are the strongest contenders in the emulsifiers market, but Asia Pacific is forecast to see the fastest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) at 9% (2009-2017), according to a recent Global Industry Analysts report.

Kerry is already a “key player” in the region, with others including Archer Daniels Midland, Caravan Ingredients, Cargill, Danisco and DSM.

Meanwhile, Danish company Palsgaard is building a US$30m emulsifier factory in Malaysia, due for completion in January, to bring it closer to the supply of its key raw material, palm oil.

Shifting up in the emulsifier world

However, with emulsifier plants in Port Klang and Zwijndrecht, Kerry claims the investment positions it as “a world leader in the cost effective manufacture and sale of food emulsifiers”.

René Kamminga, vice president of lipids, emulsifiers and texturant systems, Kerry EMEA, said: “Emulsifiers are an important part of the ingredient offering of the company worldwide.”

“Over the past five years the Group has continuously invested in the capacity and capability of its emulsifier technology footprint to respond to the growing demand for cost effective and sustainable solutions,” Kamminga added.

The Zwijndrecht plant is RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) certified for Mass Balance – where refineries ensure the volume of certified oil they sell is equal to that which they buy – and for Segregated Palm Oil. This is where sustainable palm oil is kept apart throughout the entire supply chain from plantation to user.

The new facility also allows Kerry to “competitively offer alternatives to palm”, such as rape seed oil and sunflower oil based products.

Market picture

Emulsifiers produce a wide range of multi-component products including breads, cakes, spreads, ice cream, dressings, meats, chocolate and soft drinks - the biggest application being bakery.

The GIA study, called Emulsifiers: A Global Strategic Business Report, predicts that the global emulsifiers market will reach volume sales of 2.6 million metric tons by 2017.

The drivers are the growing use of emulsifiers in food and beverage and personal care products, rising popularity of natural emulsifiers, such as lecithin, the growing trend of fat replacement in food products and continuous product innovations.

Technological advancements within the food processing industry are also expected to further boost prospects.

Nevertheless, a modest growth rate is predicted for the market over the period (2009 through 2017) mainly due to the economic downturn.

Europe and the USA are expected to capture the largest share with Asia-Pacific seeing the fastest CAGR.

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