Cargill intends to acquire Citrico's pectin business

by Staff
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COBHAM, U.K. — Cargill, Inc. intends to acquire the global pectin business of Citrico, a manufacturer and international supplier of citrus products for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, Cargill officials announced today. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

Cargill has not previously supplied pectin, so the acquisition will strengthen the company’s existing texturizing and stabilizing ingredient portfolio and will facilitate the creation of value and growth for customers, the officials said.

"The acquisition of Citrico’s pectin business will support Cargill’s strategy of becoming a leading provider of specialty ingredients and ingredient systems to food and beverage companies globally, and provides a number of customer benefits," said Robert Parmelee, president, Cargill Food System Design. "Cargill’s ability to leverage pectin with the company’s global juice, orange processing and soya protein assets and our specialty flavoring and formulation expertise, strengthens our ability to partner with customers on a broader array of innovative new solutions, such as beverage compounds, in the future."

In 2002, Cargill acquired Cerestar to enhance its capabilities in specialty starches and sweeteners. The company then formed a joint venture to ensure access to xanthan gum that is another widely used texturizer.

By integrating Citrico’s pectin business with the Cargill/Cerestar specialty starches and xanthan gum business, the company will be better positioned to deliver unique, high value solutions to food and beverage companies worldwide, Cargill officials said.

Ralph Appel, head of Cargill/Cerestar food and pharmaceutical specialty business, said: "Over the past few years we have increased the number of technical specialists, including hydrocolloid experts, we employ to reflect our growing portfolio of functional products. This team will be further enhanced by the addition of the Citrico employes bringing their expertise in pectin."

The owners of Citrico’s pectin business were Citrico International Limited and Citrico Deutschland GmbH. The former entity was put into liquidation in December 2004.

Citrico Deutschland GmbH has continued to operate and was not subject to liquidation proceedings. Founded in 1997, Citrico has a state-of-the-art pectin facility in Malchin, Germany, supplying customers in Europe and globally.

Pectin is a natural hydrocolloid that is extracted primarily from citrus peels, such as lemons, limes or oranges. It provides unique texturizing and stabilizing benefits and enhances the overall "mouth feel" of food and beverages.

It is used widely in a variety of applications, including fruit processing, dairy, non-carbonated beverages, confectionery and the pharmaceutical industry.

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