Cargill and Riceland Foods have announced their intention to link up to manufacture, market and sell lecithin products to food customers.
Under terms of the agreement, lecithin produced by US farmer-owned co-operative Riceland at its Arkansas (USA) facility will be marketed and distributed by the US agri-giant Cargill. The agreement is expected to take effect by 1 September 2003.
Lecithin is derived from soybean processing and is used extensively in the baking industry. In its refined liquid form it is used as a natural emulsifier. The deoiling process results in powdered and granular lecithin.
Lecithin can also be used in a variety of foods as a blending agent, dough stabilizer, egg replacer and instantising aid.
"The Riceland alliance establishes Cargill as a lecithin supplier in North America," said Jens Heiser, president of Cargill's lecithin product line.
"This alliance is a major growth initiative for Cargill Lecithin and will foster innovation in the deoiled lecithin market," added R. Creager Simpson, president of Cargill's Food & Pharma Specialties North America, where the lecithin product line resides.
Riceland President and CEO Richard E. Bell said that the alliance will allow Riceland to operate its lecithin manufacturing facilities at more efficient rates. "In recent years we've been handicapped by not having a source of conventional (non-GM) crude lecithin for processing. This new arrangement with Cargill helps us fill that gap."