Essex-based ingredient supplier Edme has agreed a joint venture with Dutch malt extract ingredient producer CereX to distribute malt extracts in the UK and in Europe.
Edme has invested £350,000 in a new packaging facility. In partnership with the Dutch firm, it will combine production, packaging and distribution capabilities.
The firm will package and distribute the malt extract in the UK while CereX, part of the Barvaria brewery group, will distribute small-scale orders in Europe.
James Smith, sales director at EDME, said: “Malt extract was our staple product when we started trading more than 100 years ago, and it feels good to be back.
“There has been a shift for producers large and small who are seeking out functional, natural products to comply with regulations, meet cost requirements and satisfy end-user expectations.
“With our new packaging facility we can service both ends of the market, satisfying our existing customer base and building our offer for producers across the continent.”
Edme’s packaging facility in Mistley, Essex, has been built on the site of the old malt extract plant and housed in an enclosed temperature and purified/filtered air controlled packaging environment to ensure quality is maintained. The design allows cleaning- in-place with minimal touch points in order to maintain BRC (British Retail Consortium) certification, Smith told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
It is also flexible in order to fill packs from 5kg to 1.4t and will be run by existing EDME staff.
Smith said: “The facility is now operational, with over 1,000t worth of contracts so far secured for 2011. In 2012, we hope to double this.” Edme plans to blend other products with the malt extract syrups to add value to the product range.
The firm said in a statement: “With an established market position for malted, cereal and other grain-based ingredients, Edme hopes the extract add-on will create a ‘one-stop-shop’ for customers across the baking, cereal and food industries.”
As a natural ingredient used to enhance the colour, flavour or texture of foods, malt extract can help producers to meet European guidelines for product labelling and keep costs down, it said.
The extracts are produced by CereX with sister organisation Holland Malt at a plant in Lieshout, Netherlands.
Romke Swinkles, sales manager at CereX, said: “With our background as a maltster and brewer, we are able to produce high-quality custom made extracts. Our co-operation with Edme extends this chain to the UK and small pack users around Europe.”