American food conglomerate Cargill yesterday (8 September) announced the opening of its latest pectin production facility in Bebedouro, Brazil. The new £150m site will harness thermal energy derived from biomass and biogas to advance the company’s aim of reducing its overall carbon footprint.
The new site concludes Cargill’s three-year pectin expansion plan, which has also seen its facilities in France, Germany and Italy being updated with sustainable production in mind. With the new Brazilian location, Cargill has now become the second largest producer of pectin in the world. This texturiser is used as a thickener and gelling agent in food products such as yoghurt, jams and fruity drinks, as well as in personal care products.
“Demand for pectin is at an all-time high, fueled by global trends around sugar reduction and label-friendly formulation, as well as the popularity of fruit-flavored dairy drinks,” said Laerte Moraes, Managing director for Cargill’s starches, sweeteners and texturizers business in South America. “Adding a fourth pectin production facility to our supply network further secures our position as a reliable supplier of this sought-after ingredient.”
“This new plant is the latest example of how Cargill is working to lower our environmental impact across operations,” Moraes added. “Within the last five years, we’ve reduced the energy consumption of our European plants by 20%. Our Bebedouro plant will continue that commitment, using advanced technology to minimize our carbon footprint.”
The Bebedouro site is located close to its citrus suppliers, meaning carbon emitted in the process of transporting peel between the sites is kept at minimal levels, and regenerative agricultural practices are supported in the supply chain.
The first shipments from the facility are anticipated to begin by the end of this year, with the site supplying pectin to consumers throughout the South American market and the rest of the world.