14/07/2020 | Ingredients

Beneo invests EUR 50 m in Belgian rice starch plant

Functional ingredients producer Beneo has announced a 50 % production capacity increase at its facility in Wijgmaal/Belgium, to cater for rising customer demand for rice starches. A two-stage expansion process, valued at EUR 50 m, will lead to increased capacity by March 2022. The investment will increase the number of production lines from two to three.

Rice starch is capable of filling up all of the micropores on the surface of coatings due to its very fine particle size. This so-called “smoothing effect” is especially beneficial for confectionery manufacturers during the production process, since it ensures a stable result where edges do not crack or splinter. Additionally, rice starch allows for the preservation of a brilliant white colour for months.

The supplier leverages the colour-preserving functionalities of rice starch, which translate into improved coatings performance for confectionery manufacturers switching out titanium dioxide for a cleaner label ingredient. Roland Vanhoegaerden, Operations Managing Director Speciality Rice Ingredients at Beneo, notes: “One of the key reasons for our confidence is the clean label trend, where food manufacturers are moving away from artificial additives and replacing them with natural alternatives, such as rice starch.” Beneo forecasts that the growing demand for natural and clean label products, in applications such as coated confectionery, will intensify in major existing markets, including Europe and the Americas.