Business Briefs

In Beloit, Wis., Kettle Foods is building a 70,000-sq.-ft. plant, which will generate an economic impact of $18 million for the state and create at least 100 jobs during the first three years. The company selected Beloit because it’s centrally located in one of the strongest Russet Burbank potato — used exclusively by Kettle Foods — growing regions in the Midwest. The plant is expected to process 50 million lb. of Russet potatoes a year, boosting overall company production by 50%. In addition, Kettle Food’s flagship facility in Salem, Ore., also is getting a boost from a $2 million investment in new fryers that will expand capacity by 30%.
In February, Minneapolis-based General Mills Bakeries & Foodservice began transitioning Pillsbury Bakery Flour (25-lb. bags and larger) brands from Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) to its General Mills Bakery Ingredients segment. In 1998, the Pillsbury Co. licensed its Pillsbury brands to ADM for use in the marketing and sale of bakery flour. General Mills kept this agreement after the acquisition of Pillsbury in 2001. However, as the License Agreement now draws to a close, General Mills plans to integrate Pillsbury Bakery Flour brands and products into its existing bakery product line. The transition of more than 60 Pillsbury Bakery Flour products began on March 1.
The Wheat Foods Council, based in Parker, Colo., has launched a newly redesigned Web site — The site provides consumers, professionals and the media with a user-friendly and interactive wheat foods resource, with highlights that include effortless site navigation, an enhanced and interactive recipe resource, and a superior newsroom with additional on-demand resources for the media. In addition, links to the USDA’s MyPyramid and Wheat Foods Council member sites enable quick access to supplementary information.
Cargill’s first North American maltitol plant is now in full operation at its corn milling bio-refinery campus in Blair, Neb. In addition to Cargill’s maltitol plant in Europe, the new operation provides food manufacturers with global access to innovative sweetness solutions. The operation is North America’s only source of Maltidex HP high purity liquid maltitol, which is more than 96% pure — the highest purity level of all liquid maltitol products available. Maltidex maltitol can replace sugar one-for-one in a variety of baked goods.
Milan, Italy-based SIAB 2007 is undergoing a repositioning process, and is upgrading with a new subtitle and image. The eighth annual edition of the event will be held May, 5-9, 2007, at the Verona Exhibition Centre. The restyled logo will reflect a more international feel, and the new subtitle —“Techno-Bake Exhibition” will appear strictly in English — and replace the previous sub-head: “International Exhibition of Bread, Pastry, Confectionery, Fresh Pasta and Pizza.”
Montreal, Canada-based Lallemand (American Yeast) completed its purchase of Rymco (Pty) Ltd (Anchor Yeast) in South Africa in February. This move follows its January purchase of the Mazowiecka Fabryka Drozdzy ‘Jozefow’ Poland.  These two acquisitions reflect the increasing investments that Lallemand is making in the baker’s yeast industry, as well as one of the leaders in the specialty yeast and bacteria markets.
Minneapolis-based Cargill is preparing to open a 30 million lb. per year glycerin refinery in Iowa Falls, Iowa. The company is actively seeking customers for its product, which will be produced in a refinery adjacent to the company’s new 37.5 million gallon capacity bio-diesel production plant.  The bio-diesel plant is slated to open in late April or early May, with the glycerin plant to follow in June. Commercial volumes of United States Pharmocopeia (USP) grade, as well as other grades of glycerin from soybean oil, will be available for customers by July 1.  
Ocean Spray ITG’s new processing plant at its headquarters in Middleboro, Mass., provides added value to customer’s applications by producing diced sweetened dried cranberries. The extra production capacity and improved, in-house dicing capabilities enables bakers and snack producers to add cranberries to finished products cost-effectively.