Pictured at the inauguration of the upgraded refinery in Izegem are (from left): Bert Maertens, mayor of Izegem; Cis Vandoninck, general manager of Cargill Belgium; Geert Bourgeois, minister-president of Flanders; and Sabine Sagaert, managing director for Cargill's oils and seeds business in EMEA.
Cargill has invested €16.6 million to upgrade its Belgian refining facility in Izegem to grow its global edible vegetable oils business.
The investment will allow the firm to increase production and provide a reliable supply of food and infant nutrition oil.
The new refining installation includes replacing existing equipment with new machinery, such as a deodoriser and processing technology, that will facilitate the production process.
Cargill said that strict standards have been put in place by European legislators for chemical compounds such as 3- and 2-monochloropropanediol and glycidyl esters in infant food.
The upgraded installation is said to facilitate the technical processes and allows Cargill to meet the required European safety and quality standards.
Sabine Sagaert, managing director for Cargill’s oils and seeds business in EMEA, said: “The company is well-positioned to meet future, increasingly stringent, European regulations on food safety.
“With many new ingredients entering the food and infant nutrition segment, food safety is an important starting point for every product. Cargill’s ability to safeguard the quality and integrity of food and infant nutrition ingredients is key to our customers’ success.”
The announcement comes as Cargill celebrates 20 years operating at the Izegem site, during which time it has invested more than €70 million in the modernisation of its refinery and bottling activities.
With its refining, hydrogenation, interesterification and blending technologies, the plant is able to process 11 types of oils and fats into over 300 product blends for products such as cooking oils, salad dressings, infant nutrition and applications. There are currently 280 people employed at the site.
Earlier this month Cargill revealed a $150 million investment to build a new HM pectin production facility in Brazil. It will also upgrade its three pectin plants in Europe, located in Germany, France and Italy.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018