Minnesota-based Cargill, a global food corporation, has opened a new pectin production facility in Bebedouro, Brazil. The company has invested $150m (787m reais) in the plant, which will allow it to support growing demand for pectin products.

Laerte Moraes, managing director for Cargill’s starches, sweeteners and texturisers business in South America, stated in a company press release: “Demand for pectin is at an all-time high, fuelled by global trends around sugar reduction and label-friendly formulation, as well as the popularity of fruit-flavoured dairy drinks.”

The facility is strategically located close to raw materials in the centre of Brazil’s citrus-growing region ensuring an abundant supply of fruit peels needed for pectin production. Once operational it will serve customers in South America and globally, with initially shipments scheduled by the end of 2021.

The investment forms part of a wider growth strategy by Cargill to expand its global pectin production, which includes expansions of its existing facilities in France, Italy and Germany.

Cargill is headquartered in Wayzata, Minnesota, US, and employs about 155,000 staff globally. The company has operations in 70 countries and recently announced additional investments in Poland and Indonesia.