Prepared Foods July 19, 2004 enewsletter

MGP Ingredients Inc. (MGPI) and Cargill announced a business alliance for the production and marketing of a new resistant starch product called Fibersym HA that is derived from high-amylose corn and ideal for use in an array of lower net carbohydrate food products.

Under the business alliance, which has an initial term of five years, Cargill will manufacture Fibersym HA according to a patent licensed exclusively to MGPI and relating to the production of food-grade starch resistant to alpha-amylase. The new resistant starch will be marketed in the coming months by both companies under MGPI's Fibersym brand name, with all revenues from such sales recognized by MGPI. MGPI and Cargill will share profits from sales of the new product.

"This alliance provides great opportunities for both companies as well as food manufacturers seeking a broader base of resistant starches for use in lower net carb applications," said Mike Trautschold, executive vice president of marketing and sales at MGPI. "The arrangement combines MGPI's licensed patented technology with Cargill's diverse production capabilities."

"With increasing concerns about health and wellness, market interest in ingredients like Fibersym HA is growing, because consumers are seeking products that are higher in fiber and lower in net carbs," said R. Creager Simpson, president of Cargill Food & Pharma Specialties. "Fibersym HA when combined with Cargill's other functional ingredients creates more options for food companies to enhance their lower net carb product development. This new resistant starch broadens Cargill's existing lines of health-promoting ingredients such as ActiStar (a resistant maltodextrin), Oliggo-Fiber inulin and our broad lines of polyols and soy protein products," he said.

"Driven by significant interest in lower net carbohydrate food products, demand for resistant starch has risen dramatically," Trautschold said. "Based on this demand, we believe Fibersym HA will fulfill some unique customer requirements, particularly in products which traditionally have a corn base. Further benefits can be achieved when used in conjunction with our Arise line of specialty wheat protein isolates."

Formerly known as the MGPI FiberStar brand, MGPI's line of resistant starches was recently renamed Fibersym to more effectively convey the line's functional similarities to fiber rather than typical starches. Delivering more than 70% dietary fiber, Fibersym resistant starches greatly reduce net carbohydrate levels in foods, says the company. Applications cover a wide variety of products, including breads, tortillas, pizza crust, cookies, muffins, waffles, breakfast cereals, snack products and nutritional bars.

Fibersym resistant starches, notes the company, also possess low water-holding capacity, allowing for high levels of inclusion with minimal formulation changes. Additionally, they are claimed to possess a neutral flavor, smooth texture and white color and, as a result, do not detract from the desired taste, texture or appearance of finished products.

Fibersym HA joins MGPI's other resistant starches. These include a wheat-based resistant starch, Fibersym 70, that the company introduced to the market last summer, and a potato-based variety, Fibersym 80 ST, that MGPI launched two months ago.

By the end of 2004, Cargill plans to begin producing and marketing tapioca-based resistant starches for use in food products. This product line expansion is possible through an exclusive, royalty-bearing sublicense based on the patent licensed exclusively to MGPI. The business alliance also gives Cargill the opportunity to participate with MGPI in future product innovations from corn and certain other plant sources.

The arrangements between MGPI and Cargill are subject to termination if the products should be determined to be commercially unviable.