September 10, 2021 — CP Kelco is investing more than US$50 million to expand citrus fiber capacity at a plant in Brazil. The company’s citrus fiber has evolved into a robust product line in various food and beverage applications. Sauces, soups, condiments, alternative dairy beverages, and gluten-free baked goods are all highlighted as potential uses.
Company President Didier Viala reviews how NUTRAVA Citrus Fiber supports dietary fiber intake and control of syneresis, emulsion stability, texture, mouthfeel and overall desirable consumer experience which is often lacking when reducing sugar and fat in formulations.
“NUTRAVA citrus fiber is naturally sourced and made from sustainably sourced citrus peel, an abundant by-product of the juice industry near our plant. CP Kelco’s proprietary manufacturing process allows us to convert citrus peel into citrus fiber,” he said. FoodIngredientsFirst.
“Citrus peels are naturally high in pectin and the inherent pectin is retained as soluble fiber. The typical dietary fiber content of NUTRAVA Citrus Fiber is at least 80% with an approximately balanced amount of soluble and insoluble fiber. This new composition makes it suitable for a wide range of food and beverage products.
NUTRAVA Citrus Fiber also allows for a simpler ingredient list. It’s an easily recognizable, label-friendly fiber that’s considered a food and not an additive in Europe, Viala points out. It may be listed as citrus fiber on the label and it does not have an E number.
Dietary fiber demand
CP Kelco’s expansion into Brazil comes amid strong customer demand and market potential for citrus fiber solutions.
This is the second major move in the pectin space this week. Yesterday, Cargill inaugurated a $150 million pectin production plant in Bebedouro, in the heart of Brazil’s citrus growing region.
Its proximity to citrus fields ensures an abundant supply of fresh fruit peels, the raw material needed to produce premium pectin.
Extension of the production line
The expansion project will add a second NUTRAVA citrus fiber production line to the company’s plant in Matão, Brazil, increasing total capacity to approximately 5,000 metric tons.
The new production line is expected to be completed and fully operational in 2023, with options to increase capacity in the future.
NUTRAVA Citrus Fiber was originally launched in late 2019, considered a next-generation ingredient made from sustainably sourced citrus peel, a by-product of the juice industry.
Its development and expansion will continue to meet growing consumer demand for food and beverage products with fewer ingredients, less sugar and less fat.
“We will grow and innovate with our customers. We want to be ready to meet this growing market need and enable our customers to offer exciting new options to meet consumer demand,” continues Viala.
“Some of the applications we have explored include sauces, dressings and condiments (including a vegan egg-free mayonnaise-type dressing), reduced-pulp fruit juices, starch-free yogurt fruit preparations, gluten-free bakery, dairy and dairy alternatives, beverages and yogurts, meat and meat substitutes and pet food.
“We are also actively exploring applications beyond food and beverages that can benefit from NUTRAVA Citrus Fiber as consumers demand simpler, sustainably sourced and more easily recognizable ingredients in all of their products,” notes he.
Consumer trends and market dynamics
Viala explains the main drivers behind the increased demand for dietary fiber and how all consumer trends are converging, possibly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is an increased focus on health and well-being as well as a growing concern for the planet,” he points out. “Consumers are very interested in simpler, more recognizable labels and better-for-you/better-for-the-planet food and beverage options.”
They are open to trying new products, including plant-based foods and drinks, but they don’t want to compromise on taste, texture and experience.
“So developing products with fewer ingredients, less sugar, and less fat poses formulation challenges in terms of water retention, emulsion stability, viscosity, and mouthfeel. In addition to supporting dietary fiber intake, NUTRAVA Citrus Fiber can help with these issues.
What is the next step ?
Viala describes the citrus fiber expansion as a “milestone” for CP Kelco, noting that NUTRAVA citrus fiber was born as a proof of concept just four years ago.
“We see an exciting future ahead of us for NUTRAVA Citrus Fiber. The possibilities are nearly endless with this next-gen ingredient.
However, this is still a relatively new offering, he notes.
“By co-creating and working with our customers and distributors, we will find opportunities, formulations and applications that we don’t even think of today,” concludes Viala.
By Gaynor Selby
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