North Carolina-based SPX announced earlier today that it has been awarded a contract by Synutra France, a subsidiary of Chinese infant formula manufacturer and supplier Synutra International, to develop its new powder infant formula processing plant in Carhaix, France.
In September 2012, Synutra announced plans to build the drying facility to manufacture milk powder and fat-enriched demineralized whey. French dairy giant Sodiaal and its ingredients business Euroserum will supply the facility with 280m litres of milk and 30,000 tonnes of demineralized liquid whey per annum under a deal with Synutra.
According to SPX, the new facility will utilize its Flow Technology process systems to convert the supplied ingredients into powdered infant formula and other whey protein powdered products for export to China.
Strictest European standards
Synutra manufactures a wide range of infant formula and adult nutrition products for the Chinese market.
Despite the continuing increase in demand for infant formula in the country, the safety of domestic dairy is still an issue for many Chinese consumers - mainly as a result of the 2008 melamine crisis, when six children died and around 300,000 people were sickened after consuming melamine-tainted Chinese-manufactured milk powder.
Demand for imported infant formula has increased dramatically as a result.
Through its European investment, Synutra hopes to “meet the strictest European quality and hygiene standards” and increase the confidence and trust Chinese consumers have in its products.
To meet these demands, SPX will design and install all of the highly advanced, automated systems needed to convert fresh milk and whey into dry powdered ingredients and infant formula, including wet and dry food processing technologies from SPX’s APV and Anhydro brands.
The facility, which will be capable of producing 60,000 tonnes of powder per year initially, is scheduled for completion in 2015.
“Demonstrate our deep expertise”
Earlier this year, SPX told DairyReporter.com that increasing global demand for infant nutrition products has created “strong opportunities” for it and other manufacturers of dairy processing technology.
Commenting on the Synutra contract, Marc Michael, president of SPX Flow Food and Beverage, reiterated this point.
“The construction of this new powdered infant formula plant in France will allow us to further demonstrate our deep expertise in liquid dairy and dry powder processing systems, and promises to add to our growing portfolio of successful dairy facility engineering projects around the world," said Michael.