R&D News

Global food ingredient provider Chr. Hansen has been acquired by European private equity firm PAI Partners for 1.1 billion euros. PAI intends to use Chr. Hansen as a platform for growth, which could happen through continued expansion of geographic market coverage and investment in capacity and R&D, as well as potential add-on acquisitions. Chr. Hansen’s new chief executive officer is Lars Frederiksen, former executive vice president of business operations. The headquarters will remain in Denmark; the company’s North American base is Milwaukee. North American CEO David Carpenter sees the deal as providing an opportunity “to develop value-added products and systems to meet our local customer needs.”
In other Chr. Hansen news, the company recently opened its new Middle East and Africa headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and offices in Bogota, Colombia. The South American move will enable the ingredients company to serve its increasing number of customers in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Last year, Chr. Hansen experienced 20 percent business growth in Brazil and Argentina combined. The company expanded its Quilmes plant near Buenos Aires, adding space for laboratories, offices and a pilot plant.
Main Street Ingredients has announced its outstanding audit results from the American Institute of Baking and the National Food Processor Association. Main Street’s quality and safety programs have been audited and evaluated annually by AIB, and this year the ingredients maker also used the NFPA to conduct independent audits of its manufacturing facilities. For the seventh consecutive year, La Crosse, Wis.-based Main Street earned a superior rating.
Minneapolis-based ­Cargill Health & Food Technologies has launched a new logo for its CoroWise Naturally Sourced Cholesterol Reducer brand of plant sterols, communicating the product’s consumer benefits. The logo breathes new life into the CoroWise branding strategy. Products currently using CoroWise include Minute Maid Premium Heart Wise Orange Juice, Yoplait Healthy Heart Yogurt and Rice Dream Heartwise Rice Drink.  
Germany-based Degussa Food Ingredients was named by France-based Ferco Nutraceutique as the exclusive distributor for its Grap`Active product line in North America and Asia. Degussa will market, under the trade name Grap`Active, various types of grape seed and grape skin extracts into the functional food and health supplement market. Ferco Nutraceutique is specialized in the extraction of polyphenol and proanthocyanidine rich fractions of high quality grapes from French vineyards. In other Degussa news, the ingredients maker started production of texturizing blends in its newly built Shanghai, China, plant.
Interbake Foods plans to consolidate its wafer production capacity from two older baking operations in Elizabeth, N.J., and Richmond, Va., to a new facility in Front Royal, Va. The existing facilities will be closed over the next 18 months and the new plant is expected to be running by late summer. Columbus, Ohio-based Interbake Foods is a division of Weston Foods Inc., whose parent company is George Weston Ltd., Toronto.
Lipid Nutrition has launched a new Web site, www.lipidnutrition.com, which incorporates the new company image and logo. The Web site offers more comprehensive information on the company’s lipid-based products. The company, based in Channahon, Ill., is a division of Loders Croklaan.
FMC BioPolymer has announced it will raise pricing of its food and pharmaceutical cellulosic-based products by an average of 5 to 7 percent depending on the product line. The Philadelphia-based company attributes this to a rise in costs in raw materials, energy and packaging.
Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Virginia Dare plans to release the results of its first flavor preference survey at July’s Institute of Food Technologists’ show in New Orleans. The company is researching consumer flavor preferences to provide unique insights to its customers. Survey results will be revealed at Virginia Dare booth 2731 at the IFT Food Expo.
Correction: The Dairylogue column “Did They Know?” in the Dairy R&D section of the March 2005 issue should have referred to “… high levels of the insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) … ”