The Starch, The Packaging and The Planet-Changers
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This week we’re looking at how the starch industry has continued to take the spotlight in the search for sustainable packaging. With organisations like ADM doubling down on their investment into the space following their “phasing out” of high-fructose corn syrup three years ago, several new players have entered the space – successfully securing investment following further demand signals coming from ADM’s data.
ADM’s BioSolutions platform has delivered over 100 million USD per annum in revenue with an additional $55 million forecasted in their 2022 projections. Yet, no one is surprised by the growth in demand for plant-based ingredients, it is a positive sign for new players and indeed the sustainability of our planet and industries in general.
ADM does offer an extremely broad portfolio of plant-based ingredients though and their BioSolutions platform growth isn’t just seeing increased demand for starches. So let’s take a look at a couple of starch innovators
One which you might have already come across is the small yet growing product range of EcoSoul. Having recently secured over £2 million in an early-stage VC round in February, their use of corn starch and other naturally occurring raw materials to produce kitchenware and bags has proven to be a hit with investors like Aliya Capital Partners that are operating out of a hedge fund opened in 2018. EcoSoul is in a similar space to the Angel-backed, Turkish company – Plastic Move, which is currently valued at a little under £3.5 million with only 4 employees. Plastic Move are using an innovative method of extracting the starch from waste bread to produce a polymer that can then be used to produce disposable plastics including flexible and rigid plastic. Their latest investment will be used to construct a 300-ton facility in the heart of Istanbul to allow the commercialisation of their technology.
The growth in demand for starches is partly attributed to the increase in sensitivity of gluten-containing foods whilst starches can offer consumers similar textures when included in food production over traditional wheat flours so it’s more than just plastic and packaging.
ADM continue to operate ahead of the curve – investing in their alternative-protein market offering with a new $300 million expansion of their soy protein concentrate production which should see capacity nearly double, this is a company that will continue to dominate the ingredients market in the foreseeable.
Exciting times in food!
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