The company, part of ABF Ingredients, announced its plan to build the yeast extract facility in Acheng, Harbin, in late 2007. It is expected to be operational by the end of this year, and will produce more than 15,000 tonnes of yeast extracts for food and fermentation.
With the new food application and sales offices, Ohly says it is now closer to its Asian customers and better able to meet local customer demands and tastes. Although it has served the region before, Ohly has previously had no physical base in China.
The application centre – Ohly’s third worldwide – is briefed to develop and provide new savoury ingredient solutions to meet changing market demands there.
In recent years Asian tastes have changed, as busier lifestyles and higher incomes have prompted demand for Western style convenience foods, including ready meals and snacks. Yeast extracts are used as taste enhancers for such savoury products, and are increasing in popularity because of their natural origin.
The application centre will work in close collaboration with Ohly’s other, similar centres in Boyceville, Wisconsin, and Hamburg, Germany.
Rainer Huettermann, global sales director at Ohly, said: “It is an exciting time for all of us and we are confident that we can offer interesting solutions to the local food and fermentation industries”.
Ohly has thee other yeast extract facilities around the world. It is not alone in identifying the growth opportunities for these extracts in food. Also in 2007 DSM announced a fast-track 35 per cent capacity expansion of its yeast extract production in The Netherlands.
Consultancy Leatherhead International puts yeast market growth at between 3 and 4 per cent per annum, and gives preferential use of yeast over other taste enhancers like monosodium glutamate and hydrolysed vegetable protein as a driver.