BETSY BAIRD

Archer Daniels Midland to enter soluble dietary fiber market
Archer Daniels
Midland Company, Decatur, Ill., has begun start-up of a new production facility at its Clinton, Iowa, corn wet milling plant. The multimillion dollar facility produces Fibersol 2, a corn-based, 100% soluble dietary fiber developed by Matsutani Chemical Co. Ltd. of Japan. Fibersol 2, a low-calorie, tasteless, heat- and acid-stable ingredient used primarily for fiber fortification and as a bulking agent, has been incorporated into many functional foods and beverages.

The company also recently purchased a soybean crushing plant from Sadia, Ltd., in Uberlandia, Brazil, and a crushing plant in Santo Anastacio, Pontal doParanapanema, decisions designed to strengthen the company’s investments in South America. Archer Daniels Midland currently operates eight plants and six refineries in Brazil and expects to become one of the top three oilseed processors there.

Dragoco North America restructures operations
Dragoco North America,
Totowa, N.J., one of four regional centers within the International Flavor Division of Dragoco, has restructured its corporate operations. Within the framework of the reorganization, the company created separate business units to serve the Sweet, Savory, and Beverage segments of the business.

Each unit is responsible for applied research, process development, and the coordination of projects with flavor creation and counterparts in the Dragoco global network. Each unit will also identify and implement new flavor and applications concepts, define new business strategies, and support sales.

Two well-known hunger relief organizations unite
America’s Second Harvest,
the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, has merged with Foodchain, a leader in food-rescue programs, to better serve the 31 million Americans who face hunger. The new organization will reach one in ten Americans and dramatically increase the distribution of prepared and perishable foods to the hungry.

America’s Second Harvest distributes one billion pounds of shelf-stable food each year through a network of 200 food banks in every state and Puerto Rico. Foodchain distributes excess prepared and perishable food from hotels, restaurants, and caterers through 140 food-rescue programs. Together, they will provide better service while lowering overhead and improving distribution services. Christina Martin, founding Executive Director of Foodchain, will become Director of Food Rescue-Affiliate Services, while Deborah Leff, President and CEO of America’s Second Harvest, will continue in that position in the merged organization. National operations were immediately combined and will be based in Chicago, Ill. What form the merger will take on a local level will vary from community to community.

America’s Second Harvest has long operated several programs with the assistance of corporate and philanthropic supporters. One of these, ConAgra, Inc., is partnering with America’s Second Harvest to operate Rapid Food Distribution System, a new service which combines cutting-edge software, new computers, and new trucks to move relief food throughout the country faster and cheaper. ConAgra is lending its on-line resources, expertise, and additional funding to ensure “just in time delivery,” so that food banks around the country can be alerted when hard-to-move food like produce, prepared foods, or fresh fish is available.


Company News in Brief
• ADM Cocoa,
headquartered in Koog aan de Zaan, The Netherlands, has completed the latest in a stream of investments—the acquisition of ADM Cocoa Polska with processing facilities in Kos´cian and sales offices in Poznan, Poland. Paralleled with this investment, the company is doing a major renovation of its headquarters at Koog aan de Zaan.

• Alfa Laval Oil & Protein Technology A/S and the Crown Companies, Crown Iron Works Co., and Europa Crown Ltd., announced an agreement to align their global networks of companies and affiliates to coordinate international sales, marketing, fabrication, and supply of oil processing equipment. The alliance is in response to growing demand for full project design and construction of oilseed processing plants.

The dried fruit processor, Atwater Foods, Inc., Lyndonville, N.Y., is breaking ground for a major plant expansion. Phase 1 will include a new 34,000-sq-ft building with additional processing, storage, and dock space. Phase 2, following, will add a continuous drier and new material handling and packaging equipment, while Phases 3 and 4 will provide future on-site apple storage.

• Flavor & Fragrance Specialties, Mahwah, N.J., acquired Derived Aromatics & J.E. Toll and appointed Michael C. Bloom president of the Derived Aromatics/J.E. Toll division of Flavor & Fragrance Specialties. All research and development work will take place at the Mahwah facility, while all manufacturing will be transferred to the Baltimore plant.

• Fleischmann’s Yeast, Fenton (St. Louis), Mo., a division of the Australia based Burns, Philp & Company, Limited, is investing $17 million to expand its manufacturing plant in LaSalle, Canada. The expansion is part of a program to enlarge and enhance the company’s North American operations.

• Huntsman Packaging, Salt Lake City, Utah, has been sold to Chase Capital Partners and members of the company’s current management in a recapitalization transaction. The recapitalization is valued at $1.065 billion. Richard P. Durham will continue as President and CEO, and will add the title of Chairman. The sale does not affect Huntsman Corporation, the privately held chemical company.

• Leprino Foods, Denver, Colo., plans to quadruple its high protein whey protein concentrate production by investing in additional processing equipment at its Lemoore, Calif., plant to convert all available whey production to higher protein products by 2001; and by building a new cheese and whey processing plant in Lemoore, to open in mid-2002. This facility is designed to receive and process six million pounds of Grade A milk per day into mozzarella cheese and value-added whey products.

• Nutrinova, Frankfurt, Germany, manufacturer of food ingredients and a subsidiary of Celanese AG, has invested as one of three lead limited partners in the Sherbrooke Capital Health and Wellness Fund, Boston, Mass. The three partners are Nutrinova, Mead Johnson Nutritionals, and General Mills, Inc. The Fund’s focus is primarily in the areas of nutraceuticals, healthful foods, and functional ingredients. Over a term of ten years, the Sherbrooke Fund is targeted to raise a total of $150 million.

• Sargento Foods, Inc., Plymouth, Wis., announced it will add 40,000 sq ft to its existing production facility in Kiel, Wis. The plant currently produces cheese snacks and frozen appetizers; with the expansion, shredding and packaging of natural cheese will also be done at the Kiel site. The company plans to add 600 employees during the next six years.

by BETSY BAIRD
Assistant Editor