South Asia radius

Indian colour major continues westward push with Italian acquisition

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags Food safety Food

Roha’s aggressive expansion strategy continues with the acquisition of its second Italian company is less than a year. 

The purchase of Verona-based New Foods Industry, a specialist in dry ingredients for the food and beverage industries, is also the third takeover by Roha in 2017.

The Indian natural colour major will add to its 13 global manufacturing sites and application centres and expand its global footprint in manufacturing, R&D, procurement and sales through the purchase. 

Its continuing expansion strategy centres on ensuring strong local customer proximity alongside a more diversified product portfolio with a wider range of organoleptic solutions.

Founded in 1974, New Foods Industry produces a number of natural dehydrated ingredients, including natural enhancers, aromatic herbs, fruit pieces and fruit and vegetable powders and sweeteners.

Its GardenFresh range of natural ingredients are produced using advanced drying technologies to add colour, flavour and nutritional value to the range. 

The New Foods acquisition will complement Roha’s business, its managing director, Brijesh Tibrewala, said. 

Bringing Roha into the segment of dehydrated natural ingredients gets the group even closer to its customers with a complementary offer positioned around its colour original focus​. 

Coupling ranges will allow Roha leverage abundant opportunities in natural market segments​,” he added.

Last December, Roha acquired Essential, a plant and fruit extracts firm from Italy, for an undisclosed price in a bid to push into new organic segments within the colours market.

One of the fastest growing companies in its field, the Indian firm has been focused on westwards expansion, having earlier announced both the opening of a regional base in Germany and a natural colour facility in America. 

From its Mumbai headquarters, Roha has ramped up its links with global markets. 

The Essential deal, similar to the New Foods acquisition, was designed to tap into the “increasing awareness throughout the world about the use of nature-based sustainable ingredients​,” Tibrewala said.

The trend towards clean-label products continues to drive the innovation in colouring and flavouring ingredients in Europe and globally, and with this strategic acquisition, Roha will also be able to be an important player in this fast-growing segment of the market​.”

More from South Asia…

FSSAI orders audit of companies’ trans-fat reduction performance

India’s food regulator has called on individual states to inspect edible oil manufacturers to make sure they comply with a recent notification that revises the maximum levels of trans fatty acids they produce.

Trans fat

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India told local food safety officials to focus in particular on large-capacity producers, after the upper trans-fat limit was lowered a year ago to be no more than 5% in interestified vegetable fats, margarine and hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Companies were ordered to adhere to the August 2016 notification by the beginning of March, after the deadline for compliance was extended.

Now, FSSAI has written to all state food-safety commissioners to record details on the action taken by companies under their jurisdiction since then, including trans-fat readings and any changes to their processes implemented to change trans-fat levels.

Separately, the regulator has issued a draft notification proposing that spring water be categorised as mineral water.

The draft regulation states: “Spring water shall be collected only at the spring or through a borehole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring. There  shall be a natural force causing the water to flow to the surface through an orifice.”

Under its terms, spring water should conform to all  mineral water standards, except for total dissolved solids content, which should not be more than 750mg/litre.

Bangladesh needs to adopt standards if it is to become a major exporter

Bangladesh’s government must adopt “as many international standards as possible​” if it is to realise the country’s export potential for processed food, a food safety conference heard in Dhaka.


Officials must also develop a risk-based national food-safety standard, said Golam Rahman, chairman of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh.

"Bangladesh has a huge potential for exporting food and food products to international markets. So adoption of international standards will help us do well in international markets​," he said.

However, developing a local standard from scratch could be difficult, a senior advisor to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations warned. 

Shah Monir said it would not be possible to do so without a baseline study, with each point of the food chain, from food production to consumption, adding their own risks.

"So we have to develop risk-approached national food standard to address risks. It is the regulators' duty to develop such national standard​," he said.

This is especially necessary given that Bangladesh has achieved self-sufficiency in food crop production whereas food safety remains a far cry, according to the vice-chancellor of Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mohammed Ali Akbar.

"Food security is not achieved as long as safe food is not ensured. So safe food is very important​," he added.

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