In an effort to reflect its expanding involvement in the food industry, AC HUMKO changed its name to ACH Food Companies, Inc.

In the last five years, AC HUMKO, which specialized in oil products, acquired 13 companies in the food industry. The new additions changed the focus of the company and warranted a change of name, President and CEO Dan Antonelli said.

“Rather than going into a major study to choose our name, we wanted to go back to our heritage while moving away from the connotation of oil,” he said. “ACH Food Companies is the best way to identify with that, while still disconnecting.”

The Memphis-based company had been considering a name change for some time, but didn’t make a formal decision to do so until March of this year, Antonelli said. It then began to prepare everything for the fall 2000 announcement, he said. 

Because the company is keeping part of the original name, it doesn’t anticipate any confusion among customers and others in the industry, Antonelli said. 

“I don’t think there will be any confusion because ACH is already well known,” he said. 

The company has been spreading the word about the name change. So far, the transition appears to have gone smoothly, Antonelli said. 

“We have sent out communications to all our customers and suppliers and we’ve received a pretty good response,” he said. 

In addition to the name change, the company also defined five separate businesses in which it operates. ACH Retail Products will supply the U.S. with store brand cooking oils, shortenings, and olive oils. ACH FoodService will supply food products to restaurant chains in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. HUMKO Oil Products will manufacture custom-designed fats and oil ingredients. ACH Rice Specialties will manufacture specialty rice products, and ACH Food and Nutrition will develop, manufacture, and market ingredient products for various segments of the food industry. 

The company plans to continue on its present growth course, Antonelli said. Now armed with a name that more accurately defines the varying products and services the company offers, ACH Food Companies is excited about the possibilities for its future, he said. 

New video addresses contamination issues
Silliker Laboratories Group, Inc., released a new training video that demonstrates how to prevent the transfer of microorganisms to finished products. 

“Avoiding Microbial Cross-Contamination” is the fifth installment in the company’s GMP training series. Because cross-contamination can be such a serious problem, Silliker decided that it should be the focus of its own training video, Senior Communication Specialist John Williams, Jr., said. 

“Cross-contamination is a leading problem in the food industry because it involves food-born illnesses and recalls,” he said. 

In order to avoid such things, the video addresses common cross-contamination causes, Williams said. 

“Employee hygiene practices is one of the biggest problems in the food industry,” he said. “Making sure to keep raw products separate from finished product areas is another area of concern. Contaminated equipment and poorly sanitized work spaces also cause problems.” 

The video outlines ways to prevent these common and often costly occurrences. It also highlights the origin of microorganisms and how they enter the plant environment. It is available in English and Spanish. For more information, call 1-800-829-7879, or visit Silliker on the Web at

International Flavors & Fragrances acquires Bush Boake Allen
Two players in the flavors and fragrances industry will now compete on the same team. 

In a $970 million agreement, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. announced it will acquire Bush Boake Allen Inc. The addition of BBA, a supplier of flavors and fragrances to consumer products companies, to IFF will put the company in a better position for long-term growth, IFF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Goldstein said. IFF creates and manufactures flavors and fragrances for consumer products. 

“This transaction will be a catalyst to accelerate change,” he said. “It is an opportunity for us to reinvent ourselves, enhance our leadership position, and increase shareholder value. By utilizing the best practices of both IFF and BBA, we will raise the bar for our company and this industry.” 

BBA will provide IFF with complementary products and an increased scale of operations in key markets, allowing IFF to better serve its global customers, Goldstein said. The merger will also create significant cost savings opportunities, allowing IFF to operate more efficiently, he said. 

The agreement is ideal from BBA’s perspective as well, BBA Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Julian W. Boyden said. 

“We believe that IFF is the ideal partner for BBA,” he said. “Our board conducted an extensive process. We found this combination meets our goal of delivering value to our shareholders. Our customers will be well served by the complementary nature of our products and geographic scope.” 

Both companies said they looked forward to working together to make it a smooth transition.

Company News in Brief
• Agribuys
launched its first European subsidiary, Agribuys U.K. Agribuys provides purpose-built, end-to-end, relationship-driven global e-procurement solutions for the food industry. The new subsidiary is located near London and is part of Agribuys’ strategy to establish local offices in key markets around the world. The new office will service major retailers, food service operators, and suppliers in Europe. 

Chr. Hansen Inc. now has exclusive distribution rights of all GenPrime Inc. Dairy Test Products (TBAK) worldwide. The Chr. Hansen Group produces dairy ingredients, natural colors, flavors, spices, sweeteners, and bacterial cultures. GenPrime is the inventor and producer of the TBAK equipment and test kits. The tests determine the bacterial counts in cheese starter cultures in less than 10 minutes.

Citrico Deutschland GmbH dedicated a new pectin processing plant in Malchin, Germany. The company is a subsidiary of Citrico International Ltd., which produces citrus-based products. The new facility is expected to open in 2001 and will be Citrico’s primary operation for extracting and blending pectin from citrus peel. The investment is estimated to be DM 90 million. 

Eridania Beghin-Say has completed a 2.2 million euro research and development facility expansion in Vilvoorde, near Brussels. The project included the construction of an 800 m2 building, remodeling of existing buildings, and purchase of land. The Eridania Beghin-Say group processes principal agricultural raw materials into ingredients for food, feed, and non-food uses. It also markets consumer food products. The 8,000 m2 Vilvoorde site is the group’s main research and development center. 

Haarmann & Reimer expanded its capabilities by constructing a new pilot plant for sample and pilot-scale production of fruit fillings. The new facility features five dual agitation scraped surfaced kettles ranging from 5 to 400 gallons. The plant, located in Teterboro, N.J., will allow H&R to produce smaller scale-size batches of fillings for customers and eliminate unknowns in full-scale production runs. The plant produces fruit, cheese, and cream cheese fillings.

McCormick & Company, Inc., recently acquired Ducros from Eridania Beghin-Say. The addition of the Ducros spice, herb, and dessert aid business will expand McCormick’s presence in the European spice and herb category. McCormick manufactures, markets, and distributes spices, seasonings and flavors to the food industry. 

• The Penford Corporation acquired Starch Australasia Limited, sole producer of Australia’s maize starch products, from Goodman Fielder Limited for approximately $58 million. The acquisition will enable Penford to have a worldwide food ingredients business and provide the company with entry into the emerging market for functional food ingredients.

Prayon Inc. acquired a phosphate manufacturing facility in Augusta, Ga., from Astaris LLC. Prayon, a wholly owned subsidiary of Prayon-Rupel, manufactures Calcium, Sodium, and Potassium phosphates for use in food, pharmaceutical, and industrial applications. It also markets phosphoric acid. The new facility is ISO 9002 certified and is an OSHA Star site.

Triarco Industries, Inc., has acquired Reed Corporation. Triarco, based in New Jersey, supplies ingredients to the nutritional supplement industry. Reed, also based in New Jersey, is a blending and granulation company for third parties. The addition of Reed will expand Triarco’s capabilities in screening, blending, and dry granulations. 

Shuster Laboratories, Inc., is relocating its corporate headquarters and laboratories to a new 42,000 square foot facility in Canton, Mass. Shuster is an independent contract R&D and testing laboratory facility for the food industry. The move is a major expansion for the company, nearly doubling the size of its current operations in Quincy, Mass., where the company has been based for over 20 years. The new laboratories have been specially designed for optimum space usage and increased workflow, which will allow the company to give its clients the quick turnaround times they demand.

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