Prepared Foods December 13, 2004 enewsletter

Ajinomoto Co Inc. said it is investing 6 billion yen ($57 million) to expand its aspartame manufacturing plants in Yokkaichi, Japan, and Gravelines, France, in order to meet growing global demand.

The expansion at the two plants will start in 2005 and will be completed in 2006, resulting in the company's aspartame production capacity reaching 10,000 tons per year, it said in a statement.

Ajinomoto currently has about a 40% share the 15,000-ton-per year global market for aspartame.