Ingredion invests $60m to expand clean-label on-trend starch capabilities in APAC region; launches virtual lab

By Gill Hyslop contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ingredion is upping it modified starch capabilities in Asia-Pacific. Pic: ©GettyImages/Pawarun
Ingredion is upping it modified starch capabilities in Asia-Pacific. Pic: ©GettyImages/Pawarun

Related tags: Ingredion, Starch, speciality ingredients, virtual lab, Clean label, Asia-pacific, Tapioca, Rice, Corn

Ingredion has announced it is investing $60m to grow its specialty food ingredients business in Asia-Pacific, beginning with the expansion of its modified and clean-label specialty starch capabilities in tapioca, waxy corn and rice.

The Chicago-based company has also introduced a virtual lab called Inside Idea Labs to give its customers insights into global and regional trends shaping the food and beverage market in the Asia Pacific region.

Increasing capabilities in APAC

Ingredion operates four manufacturing facilities in Thailand and three in China.

It said it will expand its tapioca modified food starch capacity in Thailand by 20%, as well as upgrade wastewater treatment facilities.

Additionally, it will increase the regulatory standards and more than double the capacity of its Thai specialty rice starch and rice flour business, which it acquired in 2017.

Finally, it plans to expand its modified food starch capacity based in China by 30%, as well as improve its corn wet milling capacity in that country. 

“These strategic investments are designed to accelerate our growth and strengthen our manufacturing network in Asia to meet increased consumer demand,”​ said Jim Zallie, president and CEO of Ingredion.

“Growing our global specialties business to $2bn in annual sales by 2022 is an integral part of our strategy to deliver long-term profitable growth and enhance shareholder value.”

According to Valdirene Licht, Ingredion senior vp and president, Asia-Pacific, the company has seen a growing demand for both clean-label ingredients and specialty starch based texturisers throughout the region.

“The investments will allow us to continue to provide innovative, on-trend solutions. We’re now excited to be building our rice ingredient business and will continue to make further investments in Asia that benefit our customers globally.”

Virtual lab

Ingredion virutal lab

According to Ingredion, its new virtual lab will allow its customers online access to the expertise developed in brick-and-mortar Ingredion Idea Labs innovation centres.

The company said the Inside Idea Labs will enable it to expand the reach of its technical services in areas like clean label, sensory experience, and health and nutrition, to a broad range of customers, including those who have not had the opportunity to visit one of the company’s 27 labs dotted around the world.

The labs will consist of regionally developed virtual labs focused on specific market segments. The APAC region will launch its beverage lab first, followed by a dairy lab.

“Our existing relationships with customers have given us insight into the types of information that we need to build into each virtual lab, and we’re looking forward to expanding our resources across all segments as part of our service offering,”​ added Joseph M Light, vp of global development and ingredient technology at Ingredion.

Customers can join Light on a guided online tour of the virtual lab.

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