As demand for reduced-sugar products continues to grow, Cargill is investing $45 million (EUR 38 million) to add soluble fibers to its European portfolio of starches, sweeteners and texturizers.
While the move marks the company’s first entry into the European soluble fiber market, Cargill is already a significant player in the sugar-reduction space, with a full line of sweeteners – ranging from full- to no-calorie. The new soluble fibers round out that portfolio, enabling the company to offer customers complete sugar-reduction solutions.
“Unlike most of the soluble fibers currently available, our new offerings were specifically designed to address the unique challenges facing food manufacturers as they aim to improve the nutritional profiles of their products, with fewer calories and less sugars,” said Manuj Khanna, business development manager for fibers. “Our soluble fibers shine in these complex applications, providing great performance in terms of taste, appearance, digestive tolerance and mouthfeel – all critical to consumer satisfaction.”
Based on micro-reactor technology developed in partnership with Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, for which Cargill has secured both an exclusive license and granted patents, the soluble fibers enable sugar reduction up to 30%, and support calorie reduction and fiber enrichment in confectionery, sweet bakery, fillings, cereals, ice cream and dairy, whilst helping to maintain desired appearance, taste and texture.
Cargill’s soluble fibers with botanical origin such as wheat and corn are especially relevant for applications where existing solutions fall short, such as sugar confectionery where digestive tolerance can be an issue for young consumers, breakfast cereals where taste and coating performance need to match existing products, and ice cream where consumers desire low-calorie products that still deliver on indulgence.
Product benefits extend to food manufacturing, as Cargill’s new soluble fibers can offer improved stability, easy handling, and scalability, enabling formulators to gradually increase the degree of sugar substitution with limited changes to their recipes.
Customer trials with Cargill’s new soluble fibers are already underway. Initial customer feedback affirms the ingredients result in improved appearance and great taste, while maintaining processability similar to sugar or glucose syrups.
The patented technology will also enable Cargill to produce next generation fibers. As with the initial offerings, these future soluble fibers will address key market needs targeting sugar and fat reduction.
“Demand for products with improved nutritional profiles shows no signs of abating,” said Willian Oliveira, segment director sweetness for Cargill’s European starches, sweeteners & texturizers business. “This critical investment, combined with our existing portfolio of sweetness solutions and deep formulation and application expertise, ensures we have all the tools necessary to support our customers’ product development journeys.”
Cargill’s soluble fiber product line will be manufactured at the company’s existing Wroclaw, Poland, facility. Construction of the new production unit has already begun, with full commercialization of the company’s initial offerings expected in the second half of 2022.