Beneo begins $55 million chicory root production expansion

The new expansion has been initiated in response to increased demand for chicory root fibres, inulin and oligofructose ingredients used in digestive health

Beneo Production facility in Pemuco, Chile

Beneo has announced a significant expansion to its production of chicory root. The functional ingredient provider will complete an expansion of its production facility in Chile by 2022.

The new expansion is being funded by an investment of more than €50 million ($55.6m). The news comes following rising demand for Beneo’s chicory root fibres, inulin and oligofructose, as consumer interest in digestive health continues to grow.

Eric Neven, Commercial Managing Director at Beneo-Orafti explained that the new expansion will increase production volume by more than 20%.

As well as expanding production capacity at the Chilean plant, the raw material sourcing will be supported by additional surface (hectares) dedicated to chicory farming in the region. The existing plant already operates using 75% renewable energy. The recent investment will enable BENEO to make further strides against its aim to increase the use of renewable energy over the coming years.

BENEO’s prebiotic chicory root fibres are helping to bridge the fibre gap. The ingredients are being widely used in both food and beverages as they help to reduce fat, sugar and calories.

Distinctively, BENEO’s fibres are naturally derived from chicory roots via a gentle hot water extraction method and are natural, clean label and non-GMO. They are highly soluble and have a mild natural taste, allowing manufacturers to reformulate their products while keeping the same taste, body and mouthfeel as the original options.

Rising demand

Worldwide consumers are paying more attention to their digestive health and are gaining further understanding of the intrinsic link between the gut microbiome and its beneficial effect on overall well-being. This, in turn, is leading to a rising interest in chicory root fibres from food and drink manufacturers around the globe, creating a high market demand for BENEO’s inulin and oligofructose ingredients.

Inulin and oligofructose are the only plant-based proven prebiotics according to ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Pro- and Prebiotics). They have been scientifically shown to support a range of functional health benefits, including a balanced gut microbiota and a person’s overall well-being.

Eric Neven, Commercial Managing Director at BENEO-Orafti said: “In order to keep up with this rising interest, we are investing significantly into expanding our production facilities in Pemuco, Chile.”