BENEO has celebrated the opening of its new rice starch production line with a special inauguration event attended by Nadia Lapage – Secretary General FEVIA Flanders – Carl Devlies – Alderman of City of Leuven – and Christoph Boettger – Member of Executive Board of BENEO, among others. The addition of the new line increases production capacity at the company’s Wijgmaal facility in Belgium by 50%, allowing the company to continue meeting demand for its clean label rice ingredients.
BENEO supplies the food and feed industry with rice flour, starch and protein, and the rice derivatives are used in the production of a wide range of clean label products. Increasing demand for natural and clean label ingredients in a wide range of applications has led to this production line expansion.
“From bakery and dairy to confectionery and baby food products, the demand is growing for our clean label ingredients. Here at BENEO we believe in investing for the long-term, and with the addition of this new rice starch production line, we have built even more resilience into our rice portfolio,” explained Roland Vanhoegaerden, Operations Managing Director for BENEO’s rice ingredients. “As food manufacturers continue to move away from artificial additives and replace them with natural alternatives, we are well placed to meet their needs with our rice starch ingredients.”
The facility in Wijgmaal has a 160-year history in the area with BENEO investing in it in recent years. With the new production line the company’s water consumption at the site remains the same, while production capacity increases at 50% at the same time. This is thanks to a two-step process of cleansing: contaminants are separated from the used water by an evaporator, the condensate is then purified in a second step which results in drinkable water.
The facility also receives two thirds of rice raw material by barge and one third by truck.
“The impact is on cost saving, but also on the environment, due to lower carbon emissions and a reduction in traffic. Our factory is in the middle of an urban area and by increasing barge use, we can reduce congestion and noise levels in the neighbourhood,” added Mr Vanhoegaerden. “All in all, the addition of the new line increases our production capacity, enabling us to continue meeting growing demand for our clean label rice ingredients, whilst minimising our impact on the environment and neighbourhood.”
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