WESTCHESTER, ILL. — Ingredion Inc. said it plans to invest $60 million to grow its specialty food ingredients business in Asia-Pacific. The planned capital investment projects include a 20% expansion of tapioca modified food starch capacity in Thailand and upgrades to wastewater treatment facilities; more than doubling the capacity and increasing the regulatory standards of the specialty rice starch and rice flour business in Thailand; and completing a 30% expansion of modified food starch capacity and further improving corn wet milling capacity in China.

The company operates four manufacturing facilities in Thailand and three manufacturing facilities in China. Previously this year, Ingredion began expanding its modified and clean label specialty starch capabilities in tapioca, waxy corn and rice in the region.

“These strategic investments are designed to accelerate our growth and strengthen our manufacturing network in Asia to meet increased consumer demand,” said James P. Zallie, president and chief executive officer of Ingredion. “Growing our global specialties business to $2 billion in annual sales by 2022 is an integral part of our strategy to deliver long-term profitable growth and enhance shareholder value.”

He added the actions taken in Asia are consistent with Ingredion’s global strategy to invest in its specialty starch franchise around the world.

“We see growing demand for both clean label ingredients and specialty starch-based texturizers throughout the region,” said Valdirene Licht, senior vice-president and president, Asia-Pacific at Ingredion. “The investments will allow us to continue to evolve with our customers to provide innovative, on-trend solutions. Our local team has extensive applications and formulating expertise combined with the broadest and deepest portfolio of waxy corn- and tapioca-based specialty starches and a successful track record of supporting customers in the region for more than three decades. We’re now excited to be building our on-trend rice ingredient business, and we will continue to make further investments in Asia that benefit our customers globally.”