Ingredion Inc., a maker of ingredient products for food and beverage manufacturers, has announced the completion of one-third of its $160 million in capital investments to significantly expand capacity for a range of modified and clean label specialty starches across its global supply chain.

At the company’s June Investor Day, its leadership team announced $160 million in capital investments through 2024 to selectively expand and increasingly localize its production capacity to meet customers’ growing demands for specialty starches that provide texture for taste along with formulating and label-friendly options for food and beverages. In September, the company also announced that it had opened a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Shandong, China, which more than doubles its starch production capacity and capabilities in the country.

“Over the last year and a half, we have seen strong customer demand recovery for our starch solutions in both food service applications as well as traditional packaged food and beverages. In addition, the Ukraine conflict has disrupted corn and other grain markets, which has forced an increase in the cost of many food ingredients. During this time, as customers managed the challenges of rising formulation costs, they have looked to specialty starches given their versatility and affordability relative to other ingredients,” said Pierre Perez y Landazuri, senior vice president of corporate strategy, specialties, and the president of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

“In addition to releasing capacity through continuous improvement initiatives, the investments we have announced will enable us to meet the heightened demand more sustainably for our customers with increased local sourcing in the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific. These investments are improving our global supply chain flexibility for corn, waxy corn, tapioca, potato, and rice-based specialty starches. The actions we are taking combined with our deep market expertise, technical knowledge, and decades-long experience innovating with specialty starch solutions will continue to make us a trusted partner for our customers,” concluded Perez y Landazuri.

In addition to providing capacity expansion for future growth, the moves are being made to reduce long-term delivered costs while taking into account the environmental footprint of the products being sold to customers. The company recently announced that it is the first major food ingredients company to engage with HowGood, the world’s largest product sustainability database for the food and beverage industry. The relationship will deliver increased transparency for the Company’s ingredients and will further enable its customers to innovate to meet the growing demand for more sustainable products.

Ingredion serves customers in more than 120 countries and had 2021 annual net sales of nearly $7 billion. The company turns grains, fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based materials into value-added ingredient solutions for the food, beverage, animal nutrition, brewing, and industrial markets. With Ingredion Idea Labs innovation centers around the world and approximately 12,000 employees, the company co-creates with customers and fulfills its purpose of bringing the potential of people, nature, and technology together to make life better.