Corbion expects to lower costs for algae-based ingredients

by Jeff Gelski
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Corbion AlgaVia bread
Enzymes in Corbion’s bakery ingredients may be positively affected by TerraVia's algae-based ingredients.
 

AMSTERDAM — Corbion nv executives gave insights on how the acquisition of TerraVia Holdings, Inc., an algae-based ingredients company, could benefit Corbion during a capital markets day on Nov. 9. Enzymes in Corbion’s bakery ingredients and antimicrobials in its meat ingredients are two promising areas. Amsterdam-based Corbion also hopes to bring down the costs of algae-based ingredients.

Corbion announced its acquisition of TerraVia Holdings on Sept. 29.

Tjerk De Ruiter, Corbion
Tjerk de Ruiter, c.e.o. of Corbion

“Actually, what makes us unique by taking a company on like TerraVia is that our capability could produce large-scale fermentations at low cost,” said Tjerk de Ruiter, chief executive officer of Corbion, on Nov. 9.

Costs of algae-based oil potentially could become more comparable to palm kernel oil, he said.

“A palm kernel oil, you can check that on the market,” he said. “I think the pricing varies from $900 to $1,500 a ton. This technology will not replace oil. This technology will replace specific fractions of palm kernel that are much higher valued.”

Marcel Wubbolts, Ph.D., chief technology officer for Corbion, spoke about enzymes in bakery.

Marcel Wubbolts, Corbion
Marcel Wubbolts, Ph.D., chief technology officer for Corbion

“Enzymes are the catalysts of nature, and also in the portfolio of TerraVia, we are using enzymes as well, and we are engineering enzymes in algae to make our products fit better,” he said.

Other Corbion ingredients work to inhibit bacteria in meat products, such as by avoiding Listeria or Salmonella.

“We have great competencies there, and we are now also very excited about adding some of the AlgaVia products because some of the algae oils are also known to have antimicrobial effects,” Dr. Wubbolts said.

Corbion meat
Some AlgaVia products may have antimicrobial effects in meats.
 

Corbion gave a strategy update for 2018-2021 at the Capital Markets Day. Corbion will aim for annual organic sales growth of between 3% and 6% from 2018-2021. Through the first nine months of fiscal 2017, Corbion’s total net sales were down 0.7% when compared to the same time of the previous year. Food sales were down 2.3%. Food is part of Corbion’s Biobased Ingredients’ segment, which had a net sales decrease of 0.7% over the first nine months.

Under the strategy for 2018-2021, Corbion will aim for net annual sales growth of 2% to 4% in Ingredient Solutions. The goal includes annual sales growth of 1% to 3% in Food and 3% to 10% in Biochemicals. Corbion wants to maintain an EBITDA margin of greater than 19% in Ingredient Solutions.

Within Ingredient Solutions, Corbion plans to expand in Latin America in Bakery while targeting faster growing segments such as sweet goods and the food service channel in the United States. In Meat, Corbion will extend its antimicrobial/preservation product portfolio. In Biochemicals, the company will continue a portfolio approach based on lactic acid.

Corbion AlgaVia algae powder
Corbion announced its acquisition of TerraVia Holdings on Sept. 29.
 

In its Innovation Platforms, Corbion will target annual net sales growth, including proportionately consolidated ventures, of 10% to 30%. EBITDA, including proportionately consolidated joint ventures, should break even in 2021. The maximum annual loss in 2018 and 2019 should not exceed 35 million.

To support the growth initiatives, Corbion will invest more in research and development, where expenses as a percentage of sales will increase to 4% from 3%.
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