The Irish nutritional ingredients group said its new 8,300m2 plant contains “the latest” milling, blending and packaging technology, and is also kosher, halal and HACCP certified.
“This will double our size in terms of capacity in the US. The main reason [for opening this plant] was that the US is a geographically big market and we wanted to be present in the mid-west,” said Dr Raimund Hoenes, CEO of Glanbia Nutritionals’ Customized Premix Solutions.
The plant will mainly supply customers in the mid-west and eastern parts of the United States, while the west coast will continue to be supplied by Glanbia’s Californian premix facility, purchased in 2006.
As a result, delivery times to customers in the mid-west could be reduced by around three days, explained Dr Hoenes. In turn, this will enable them to increase their speed to market.
Although the plant does not as yet have a supplement GMP certification, Dr Hoenes said it “easily” complies with these standards. The firm is still in internal discussions regarding whether it will opt for GMP certification or ISO 2200, which, it says, is “very similar” to GMPs and will encompass most of those requirements. The additional certification is expected to be achieved during 2010.
Production at the new plant has already started, with some key customers already receiving deliveries from the new location. Several of the firm’s major customers have also already conducted audits of the facility.
Currently, the plant is run by 20 employees, but this can easily increase as required due to its ‘modular’ design. This means that blenders at the facility are contained in separate housing, and can be operated as necessary without affecting product flow elsewhere, explained Dr Hoenes.
As well as the two US premix facilities and its plant in Germany, Glanbia also set up its first manufacturing facility in China last year. Located in Suzhou, near Shanghai, the facility focuses on manufacturing nutritional premixes, used predominantly in infant formula, but also in functional foods.
These facilities supply bespoke micronutrient mixes, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical ingredients, as well as blends made with other ingredients in Glanbia’s portfolio.
Other activities in the US include Glanbia’s acquisition in 2007 of the Canadian nutritionals business Pizzey’s Milling, which mills flaxseed for lignans and omega-3. In 2008 it also acquired the sports supplement firm Optimum Nutrition, marking its first venture into the finished supplements arena.
In addition, the firm this year opened a new R&D facility and pilot plant in Idaho. With a focus on the development of bars, beverages and baked goods made with Glanbia’s dairy protein and flax ingredients, the center is said to allow closer collaboration with customers on the development of nutritional products, as well as speed up delivery of prototypes.